By Steve Cavolick
Happy New Year! As you look back on 2018, hopefully you saw your analytics journey progress and move towards the right on the maturity line. Here are some analytics trends LRS noticed in the past year that could impact you and are worth watching in 2019.
Information Management Continues To Be At The Heart Of Digital Transformation
Digital transformation will push your business to move orders of magnitude faster and generate decisions that are more forward-looking. The only way this occurs is if your data is cleansed, organized, secured, and stored at scale so that all internal (and in some cases, external users), can find and use it. Enterprise-class information platforms give you these capabilities for both structured and unstructured data.
Companies Are Becoming More Intelligent About Analytics Adoption
Have you ever put a movie on your Netflix queue but never streamed it? If you don’t watch it, you are not getting value from this movie. In the same way, just because you look at a report once per month, it does not mean you are driving change or enabling transformation from that content. The more people that can interact with their data and positively alter the course of the business, the better.
Smart companies know this and are driving adoption through grass roots efforts: Centers of Excellence, education sessions for new users on visualizations, governance, and data protection that are recorded, publicizing the business benefits of discovered insights, and internal communities with designated champions to help with best practices. These are just some of the ways companies are accelerating the onboarding of knowledge workers and expanding the use of the platforms they invest in.
AI For Good
2018 saw many technological advancements in the areas Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, specifically around Natural Language Processing (NLP) and an increase in semi-supervised and unsupervised learning. In addition, education opportunities at universities and online institutions grew to meet the increasing demand for data scientists. But what is being done with all of this AI? In the world of fiction, we know what happened when Skynet took over in the Terminator movies.
In our real world, negative and nefarious stories of AI abound: massive surveillance of entire populations by governments, Cambridge Analytica’s unauthorized acquisition of Facebook data on 50 million users to create a model that presented political ads based on psychological traits of a person, and the deadly crash involving an autonomous Uber vehicle.
As the world of AI and ML matures, we are going to hear about more events like these. It is important to remember that with great power, comes great responsibility. It is natural to push back and ask questions about the technology when incidents like these occur. The leaders in the space (including Amazon, Google, IBM) are working together and attended a conference to understand the ethical, political, and societal implications of AI. AI can be used for the greater good of the planet and its people, and organizations such as AI For Good will help set guidelines and use cases that make sure everyone can positively benefit from AI.
Excel Is Ubiquitous, But We Frequently Replace It With Enterprise-Class Platforms
Excel is great as a spreadsheet and everyone has it. But it is not the right tool for integrating and visualizing data. Sure, you can wrangle data, use V-Lookups to mash spreadsheets together, then create some simple dashboards that sit on a shared drive for others to view. But what about repeatable data movement processes, error handling, debugging, and self-service visualizations for all lines of business? Those are just some of the issues with using Excel for analytics. LRS can assist you in increasing access and accuracy of data, while improving job satisfaction with enterprise-class platforms instead.
The Chief Data Officer (CDO) Role Proliferates
Analytics is no longer a nice-to-have capability to support decision making. It is becoming the focus of attention related to corporate growth, transformation, and defense of market share. Companies that leverage data as a strategic asset will first need a solid data management and analytics environment, then a strategy on how to monetize and democratize corporate data. Because of the emphasis on placing a value on data assets, the CDO role is growing in popularity and is expanding in influence to be on par with other traditional C-level executives.
The LRS Big Data and Analytics team has over 20 years of experience in analytics, information management, and data warehousing. If you are interested in discussing current trends in analytics and understanding how we can help you find value in your data, please fill out the form below to request a meeting.
About the author
Steve Cavolick is a Senior Solution Architect with LRS IT Solutions. With over 20 years of experience in enterprise business analytics and information management, Steve is 100% focused on helping customers find value in their data to drive better business outcomes. Using technologies from best-of-breed vendors, he has created solutions for the retail, telco, manufacturing, distribution, financial services, gaming, and insurance industries.