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  • IT is focusing on three areas in 2014: redefining IT's value to the enterprise, developing architecture and data analytics capabilities, and realigning talent.

  • Some issues that plague CIOs include balancing limited budgets with increasing demands, keeping up with the latest tech trends and finding the right staff.

  • DBS Bank, a global financial services firm, turns to cognitive computing and advanced analytics to boost the breadth and depth of its products and services.

  • As big data grows constantly bigger, IT organizations must come up with better ways to depict and make sense of it by using data visualization. We've come a long way from simple pie and bar charts, but the book The Visual Organization: Data Visualization, Big Data, and the Quest for Better Decisions (Wiley, March 2014) cautions that technology professionals and designers can stray too far in attempting to "dazzle the eye." It's always important, says author Phil Simon, to understand the users' needs and preferences, along with the ultimate business-focused purpose of the data. With these factors strategically aligned, there's no limit to the potential of data visualization. "An increasing number of organizations have realized that the variety, volume and velocity of information require not only new applications, but a new mindset," Simon says. "The most intelligent companies today understand the importance of data discovery and exploration—not merely conventional enterprise reporting. Interactive heat maps, tree maps and choropleths [thematic maps] promote true data discovery more than static graphs and pie charts." The following 10 best practices for IT pros are from the book. Simon is a tech strategy consultant, speaker and author of six IT management books.

  • Producing business reports used to take Dannon's IT team weeks or months, but a new data preparation system enables users to produce their own reports in hours.