Businesses next year will sharpen their focus on big data and place a greater emphasis on analytics projects, data-related security and privacy, and a new generation of cognitive-intelligence apps, InformationWeek reports.

They will even find a seat at the boardroom table for a new executive: the Chief Data Officer.

That’s according to Inhi Suh, IBM vice president of big data, integration, and governance. Her 2014 predictions are based, in part, on feedback that IBM is getting from its enterprise clients. Here are six ways that organizations will react to the big data phenomenon next year, according to Suh.

1. More analytics, fewer gut feelings. Companies will grow increasingly data driven and willing to apply analytics-derived insights to key business operations. Intuitive decision-making will diminish somewhat as companies “infuse analytics into everything that employees touch,” says Suh. Examples include day-to-day business operations, machine-to-machine processes, and management systems. (Lunch is still your call.)

2. Businesses get serious about big data privacy and security. Organizations in 2014 will make a greater effort to build security, privacy, and governance policies into their big data processes. This might involve a careful balancing act, as business devises innovative, data-driven projects that deliver usable insights while addressing security threats that might arise.

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