Data and analytics are becoming ever more central to businesses and their operations. The growth of cloud computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning means that advanced analytics plays an ever-growing role in traditionally data-heavy businesses, from retail and heathcare to finance and ecommerce. How is this likely to develop further in 2023? In this blog post I outline some of the key trends in advanced analytics that I think are likely to impact businesses over the next year.
Focus on actionable insights
A recent report from Cap Gemini revealed that only 27% of business leaders say that their company’s big data projects are profitable. This highlights an issue that I have written about before on this blog several times – how to turn the insights gain from data into actions that move the business forward. No business can afford to be spending money on data analytics projects that don’t yield any measurable insights for the business so I expect to see a much greater focus on the deliverability of such insights during 2023. If this is a challenge that you can relate to then you might find our free on demand webinars Planning successful analytics projects and Effective use and deployment of predictive models useful.
Growing importance of privacy and data security
Stories of data breaches have been legion during 2022 and this number is set to grow as cyber criminals target organisations of all types and sizes with a view to gaining access to their data. Any business that is collecting any kind of customer data needs to ensure that security is embedded throughout all aspects of the organisation. The financial costs associated with a data breach can be massive but it’s often the reputational and brand damage, legal liability and cost of the loss of customer trust that can be almost impossible to recover from.
Emphasis on regulation and responsible data ownership
Related the point above, both consumers and regulators have high expectations when it comes to organisations acting as responsible data owners. We’re five years on now from the introduction of GDPR so there’s really no excuse for organisations not to treat customers’ data with the care and professionalism that it deserves. The direction of travel from regulators is clearly in favour of customer data privacy and organisations that make the best use of data will be those that acknowledge with it and work within this system rather than kick against it.
Growing use of unstructured data
We’ve written before about the different ways in which organisations can make use of the unstructured data to which they have access. Technology that enables us to make sense of unstructured data is advancing all the time. In 2023 we’re likely to see further developments in intelligent data processing, using artificial intelligence and machine learning to interpret unstructured data such as PDF documents, emails and even handwritten documents to help organisations turn such unstructured data into actionable insights.
The importance of the people-based aspects of data management
The pandemic has fundamentally changed the nature of work for many people. Remote and flexible working are now an expectation of many employees. This can be good news for forward thinking employers who wish to keep existing staff but also who wish to employ skilled data analysts from a wider pool. The infrastructure now exists for organisations to employ full remote staff, with high quality 5G internet access that only serves to better facilitate remote working set to grow further during 2023. The growing complexity of the data environment means that getting staff with the right skills is absolutely vital in ensuring that your projects succeed. We’ve written before about the key skills that organisations need to ensure data science success.
Related to the point above, data democratisation means that entire workforces – not only data engineers – will be empowered to work with an organisation’s data in order to deliver customer value. This trend is facilitated by tools and applications that enable organisations to push relevant data into the hands of the right people and give them the autonomy to be able to use that data efficiently and effectively to improve the customer experience. Used properly, data can help organisations to understand their customers better, cut costs and work more efficiently, develop new services and products, and much more. However for this to happen the data needs to be in the hands of the relevant people within the organisation rather than in a silo accessible only by data scientists. Recent McKinsey research found that companies that make data accessible to their entire workforce are 40 times more likely to say that analytics positively influences their revenue.