A new study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Alteryx, found that the majority of executives wanted their employees to have access to Big Data (and, presumably, the analytical tools that go with it). The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed some 241 “global executives” as part of the study. Chief among its findings: some 48 percent of respondents indicated that “someone other than the chief information officer (CIO)” ended up driving their organization’s Big Data processes. The research firm felt that trend would accelerate in coming years “as corporations work to capture more value from their information assets.” Indeed, some 77 percent of respondents felt that more employees needed access to Big Data. “Our biggest challenge is to get info in the hands of those who can use it to grow the business,” one unnamed executive told the surveyors. With regard to use scenarios, some 66 percent of respondents viewed Big Data as instrumental in “seizing market opportunities,” while 55 percent saw it as ideal for holding onto customers; around 41 percent believed that Big Data could help them compete more effectively, and 35 percent said it could boost their financial performance. Despite that widespread interest in Big Data, executives apparently feel “hamstrung” by a lack of “cohesive big data strategy”—a problem cited by other workers and executives in other studies over the past several quarters. “In the Don Draper era, the person who could convince someone of something was in charge,” Alistair Croll, an analyst at emerging-technologies analysis firm Solve for Interesting, told the report-writers. “In a data-driven world, whoever can ask the right questions is the leader.” Data, Croll added, can “make everything very much a meritocracy.” And yet some 47 percent of respondents said they had no expectations of investing in Big Data in the next three years, with 37 percent of them citing financial constraints as the barrier to that happening.   Image: Serp/Shutterstock.com