It can be hard to interpret data

Even if you have solid data to help you form an opinion or make a business decision, how do you know that you interpret the data the right way? Depending on how you ask the question, you may end up with very different answers, and if you didn’t define the questions in the first place, or weren’t part of screening the interviewees, the answer may not be that helpful. Sometimes that is obvious but sometimes it is harder to see a trap even when you stand in it.

I found these two very useful pieces of data, then I started to question how I could actually use them. The topic in my mind was Security, since I had just completed a project on the subject. In my project summary I pointed to some more detailed Gartner’s research showing that Security has fallen in CIO importance for multiple years to be replace by more current topics like Virtualization, Cloud Computing, Social Media etc. My point was that Security was no longer the immediate concern for CIOs. However on reflection, even though the data showed that Security had dropped several positions, it may not have been a valid conclusion based on the data.

The other piece of data that I just came by was the Global Knowledge 2010 Salary Survey which details the top 10 skills in demand in 2010. A survey with a totally different perspective and focus. From this survey it is easy to draw the conclusion that Security will be the second most important area for skills investment in 2010. Again, it would be dangerous to put too much belief into that statement without going much deeper into the research.

That said, it is clear by cross referencing these two pieces of data that there are a number of technologies and concerns that are top of mind with IT decision makers. I’ll leave it up to you to make your own decision if you want to stack rank them.

Conclusion; be thoughtful in how you use information to guide strategic decisions!

Gartner- Top 10 CIO Technology Priorities in 2010
Source: Gartner EXP (January 2010) The CIOs surveyed represent more than $126 billion in corporate and public- sector IT spending, encompassing 1,586 enterprises across 41  countries and 27 industries. Captured from: 
Global Knowledge/TechRepublic 2010 Salary Survey – Top 10 Skills in Demand in 2010

  1. Project Management
  2. Security
  3. Network Administration
  4. Virtualization – Cloud
  5. Business Analysis
  6. Business Process Improvement
  7. Web Development
  8. Database Management
  9. Windows Administration
  10. Desktop Support

Source: Global Knowledge/TechRepublic 2010 Salary Survey