Since Thomas Davenport wrote Competing on Analytics in 2007, the use of analytics has evolved from a niche contributor to the central role of successful companies decision making, product development, marketing and other core functions. A great white paper published by Tableau highlights what it considers the top 10 trends for business intelligence. Of these ten trends, there are five that I agree will impact significantly companies this year.
Analytics emerge across the organization
Analytics will no longer be a domain dominated by analysts and data scientists; instead everyone in the organization will be using analytics daily for their decision making. Easier-to-use technologies that provide browser-based or mobile analytics let people answer ad-hoc business questions. Companies that recognize this as a strategic advantage will begin to support managers and front-line personnel with data, tools and training to help them do their jobs more effectively.
There has been a huge amount of innovation across the data space, resulting in mixed environments for everything from data storage to analytics to business applications. Although there will not be one system or application for all of your needs, the different analytic systems will be more integrated and easier to use, making them more accessible across your company. You will laugh at the multiple logins and clunky processes you had to use during analytics 1.0.
Conversations with data replace static dashboards
While a few years ago it was cool to have a pretty dashboard that showed the key metrics for your product, 2015 will usher in more powerful tools. Instead of these pretty, but static, dashboards, you will have interactive tools that allow you to analyze quickly data, mash it up with other data and redesign it to create a new perspective. These data conversations will then give you more insight into your customers, processes and competition.
Social intelligence is a competitive advantage
Social media marketing will evolve from something where you hire a recent graduate to handle to an integrated part of your process for marketing and product development driven by analytics. Tracking conversations at scale via social will let companies find out when a topic is starting to trend and thus provide opportunities for marketing, licensing and even product development. It will also show you what your customers are talking about. Social analytics will open the door to responsive product optimization.
Smart analytics emerge
Advances in graphical, intuitive modeling will mean typical executives can begin to use predictive analytics without the need for extensive expert consultation or scripting. As self-service analytics becomes more mainstream, tasks such as forecasting and prediction will become common.
- 2015 will be the year analytics evolve from being a competitive advantage to a core component of everyone’s decision making at your company.
- Analytics will spread across your organization, with everyone having access to easy-to-use tools that facilitate strategic and tactical decisions.
- Analytics will transform how your company works with social media, moving it from a tangential function for marketing or customer service to a core function driven by numbers.