Most companies see SAS and similar skills as part of the IT department, and so some of the most critical marketing tasks – understanding customers based on analysis of data – are relegated to a cost center and understaffed. A new report from eMarketer (“Big Data Has Arrived, but Executives See a Monetization Lag“, August 22, 2012)  signals a change in attitude that enterprise analytics teams would do well to sit up and notice.

The key to future staffing and budget is in the article’s subheader: Nine in 10 executives think the failure to fully exploit the potential of information results in lost revenue. That shows a shift in thinking, from seeing analytics teams as an unavoidable cost to enable the marketing profit center to function, to seeing this group as being key to significant and measurable revenues in their own right.

Next up will probably be a bit of political infighting, as the CMO realizes he needs this team in his domain and the CIO fights to keep a potential source of revenue he can point to at budget time. Neither is an ideal location for the team, since the function is inherently more tech than most marketers but more marketing than most tech.

Instead, this may be the rationale that pushes a new C-level exec to the limelight. The CMTO (Chief Marketing Technology Officer) is a position much touted recently, but not much adopted. Could this need, newly highlighted, be the push to make this position more common at brands?

Thoughts are welcome.