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Global CEO outlook: How do CEOs see a data-driven future?

Global CEO outlook

In this years annual survey, KPMG asked the world’s biggest organizations what role they see data-driven technologies playing in coming years.

Mark Goodburn

Global Head of Advisory

KPMG International


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2018 CEO outlook lights

How do CEOs see a data-driven future?

Each year, KPMG International releases the results of a survey of CEOs from some of the world’s biggest organizations. These surveys are an incredible wealth of knowledge about the trends affecting (and disrupting) businesses now and in the future, and 2018 is no different. With how a company’s brand perception can affect its business, along with the uncertainty of how geopolitics is playing a bigger role for the bottom line, the 2018 Global CEO Outlook is a must-read for any CEO looking to keep or grow momentum.

For the 2018 report, “Growing Pains” we asked the participating CEOs some of the most pressing questions about what role they see data-driven technologies playing in the coming years.

What we found might surprise you: as digital transformations have become a mandatory rite of passage, Chief Digital Officers are a popular new addition to the C-suite, but it’s the CEOs themselves who are keen to drive that transformation from the start.

Similarly, we discovered that CEOs are planning ahead to make those transformations as easy as possible on the workers and the customers. Two of the top concerns that they are watching are the role data will play in customer trust (and the governance of that data), and how to use AI to grow the workforce instead of shrinking it.

KPMG International, "Global CEO Outlook Survey" 2018 infographic

KPMG International, "Global CEO Outlook Survey". 2018.

At the same time, our survey also discovered that data-driven insights have a ways to go before they are entirely trustworthy in the mind of the CEO. In fact, 78 percent of respondents from the United States indicated that they have overlooked data-driven insights in favour of intuition. This leads to a major question as the world transitions to new analytical methods like artificial intelligence: what can be done to ensure automated analytics are trusted at the same level as their human counterparts?

Fortunately, KPMG has already begun to tackle this issue. Our philosophy is that when CEOs combine their experience and intuition with data-driven and trusted analytics, businesses will begin to see the best results.

For these insights and much more, read the full survey.

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