“Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the web like deer on a freeway.” – Geoffrey Moore
2018 was a great year for analytics with the rise of IoT and self-service analytics, chatbots becoming smarter, and augmented analytics becoming more accessible among the few. But what is really going on in the data world right now? And how will it impact your company in 2019? Well, we’ve identified 5 impactful changes that are taking place in the analytics arena! Let’s dive in already, shall we?
1) Data Discovery
“We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge”, says John Naisbitt, an American author.
Businesses these days have the ability to collect a vast amount of information from every facet of their business. However, it is difficult to draw value from the tremendous amount of data your business collects without data discovery.
Data discovery is the process of collecting, combining, and analyzing data from disparate sources in order to gain insight and unravel hidden patterns and trends.
Let’s take a look at its process in a nutshell –
1) Collect – The first step is to gather raw data from various sources and collect it in one place.
2) Prepare – The next step is to cleanse and structure data that has been collected and prepare it for further use
3) Share – Now that the data is fully cleansed, it must be shared with others in the company so it can be leveraged in different ways.
4) Analyze – The validated data can now be read and analyzed to discover trends and insights.
To sum it up, you don’t have to necessarily be an analyst to understand or derive data from your organization. Data discovery makes it possible for you to make sense of data patterns across multiple departments, hence making it an important trend in 2019!
2) Artificial Intelligence
Yeah, we know what you’re thinking! Artificial Intelligence has been around since a while and hence shouldn’t be a part of this blog post. But the biggest notion according to Gary Marcus, a professor at New York University, is that “people think we’re close to it”. 2019 will see a growing focus on two hot topics – reinforcement learning and intelligent conversational interfaces.
- Reinforcement Learning – An area of Machine Learning, reinforcement learning is where an agent learns to take suitable actions to maximize reward in a particular situation.
Just like kids who are learning to walk take smaller steps if broader steps made them fall, machines and software agents use reinforcement algorithms to determine behavior that is based upon feedback from the environment.
For instance, we have an agent, i.e. Rambo, and a reward, i.e. a gold coin that will require a couple of hurdles to overcome. Rambo has to find the best possible path to reach the gold coin with the least hurdles.
- Intelligent Conversational Interfaces – As the name suggests, conversational interfaces enable you to interact with the computer on human terms.
Remember how we’re assisted by shop assistants during our visit to a store? Conversational UI is about interacting with the customer in the same way a shop assistant would do in the past. This technology takes two forms –
- Voice assistants that let you talk, such as Siri, Cortana, Echo
- Chatbots that let you type such as Facebook M, Slackbot etc
Conversational interfaces have proven to be beneficial for businesses! A great example would be the famous gift retailer in the USA—1-800-Flowers—which encourages their customer to order flowers by talking to a chatbot! In fact, 70% of its orders were from new customers after it introduced its messenger chatbot!
3) Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics
Data is growing at an astounding rate. Did you know that there will be 40 ZB of data by 2020? That is a whopping 300x increase in the amount of data from 2005.
This explains the rapid growth of predictive and prescriptive analytics that help companies make sense of their data. But the two most popular branches of predictive analytics this year will be Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) and Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA).
Artificial Neural Networks have become a primary tool in machine learning and are an interconnected group of nodes. Similar to a human brain, they replicate the way human beings learn. ANN has done several cool things such as reading minds, detecting frauds, building self-driving cars, and even turning on sprinklers when a cat is in the garden!
Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average uses a time series to understand the data better and predict the future. It helps discover patterns that were otherwise not visible by the naked eye. While ARIMA is complex, it is quite a powerful tool for predictive analysis.
4) Connected Clouds
Clouds have been adopted by several companies, and going by a recent survey, more than 60% companies will invest in cloud-based solutions by 2020! However, while choosing the best model, you take risk, cost, speed, and complexity into account to pick one solution.
Thus, 2019 will see a multi-cloud strategy on the rise as it provides more flexibility while reducing risks. Companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have chosen the connected clouds trend.
5) Growing Importance of the CDO and CAO
There is a new member who has taken a seat at the C-Suite table—the Chief Data Officer (CDO) and Chief Analytics Officer (CAO).
A Chief Data Officer is responsible for major improvements in data quality, hence providing users with clean and ready-to-use data. In fact, according to Gartner, 90% of large organizations will have a CDO by 2019!
A CDO –
- Efficiently cleanses and manages data
- Undertakes major improvement to enhance data quality
- Ensures the prevention of data breaches
- Creates processes that define data governance and ownership
A Chief Analytics Officer, on the other hand, is concerned with data access and quality.
A CAO –
- Examines the state of an organization’s data
- Develops a DWH, that acts as a central repository for the company’s data
- Works with businesses to understand data requirements
With that, we’ve come to an end to the analytics trends in 2019. Yes, it’s certainly going to be one heck of a year for data scientists, business analysts, and marketers alike. What other analytics trends do you see emerging in 2019? Let us know in the comments section below!
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