Anyone who manages an information management system for an organisation will know that the needs of users evolve quickly, as the sources and types of information used for business decision-making proliferate.
The Market Intelligence Trends 2020 survey by M-Brain surveyed 139 business managers predominantly located across key cities in Europe and identified three key technology trends that will impact how information management systems are to develop over the next five years.
1. Data collection automation
83% of the survey respondents said that market intelligence systems should be able to automate data collection by 2020. Increasingly, companies must implement systems to collect information online and in real time, so as to proactively identify and respond to emerging market opportunities and threats faster than the competition.
IT managers must work to ensure that data can be fed into information systems that have built-in features or with best-in-breed automation tools, which handle everything effectively and through a minimum number of different user interfaces.
Automation is shaping the future of the workplace
Implementing ways to ensure the effectiveness and timeliness of the data automation is critical. IT managers need to identify the optimal set of data sources and tools for their organisations, as well as the optimal level of human involvement.
With the expansive range of information that can be collected, many companies find they need guidance on how to avoid overlapping activities and optimise costs, such as subscription fees.
They may choose to outsource the management of their entire information source portfolios and the monitoring of news outlets, web blogs and websites to specialists that can offer economies of scale and virtually endless source portfolios. There is a caveat here: you will have to make sure you choose a partner that has the flexibility to adapt to your changing requirements.
2. Information analysis automation
With the onslaught of big data and quantitative data, 91% of all respondents said they need the implementation of automated data analysis by 2020. In fact, 78% of the business managers surveyed considered big data to have a large impact on market intelligence activities.
IT managers also need to continuously learn and keep abreast of the latest available possibilities and options within the realm of automated analysis stools. Statistical and modeling tools such as Spotfire and Targit can be considered. Here, again, partnering with a correct specialist service provider may be of great advantage.
Big data is becoming more and more commonplace within company operations as a way to monitor customer behaviour. With data increasingly being referred to as a valuable currency in business, it can be used to analyse how consumers use their sites and adjust their aesthetics or capabilities accordingly.
This kind of tool can also be used to gauge what products are popular with consumers, and what ones aren’t and therefore should be adjusted or even replaced with improved offerings.
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3. Cross function integration
Almost two-thirds (64%) of all respondents expected information collection and analysis programmes to be integrated with other organisational functions in the future. This would certainly be a positive move.
Most companies today use separate systems to serve their different information requirements – for example CRM, market intelligence portal, intranet, social media platforms and ERP. Many recognise the need to integrate these tools – or at the very least to arrange for a single point access to all relevant systems.
Technical integration can and should also be considered, but the level of requirement should always be evaluated carefully. Often, it’s enough to only share views or move needed data between systems, instead of implementing actual system or database level integrations, where the returns on the investment may be limited.
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Information management systems should always support the sharing of views or movement of data from other systems, regardless of the level of integration selected.
The meaning behind the trends
These three trends show that companies will need more and more sophisticated systems that can combine all the data they have within their organisations and proactively interpret both negative and positive market signals, in the context of the company’s specific circumstances and goals.
More and more analytic systems are utilising AI and ML in order to access real-time customer data. A recent study showed that 91.6% of Fortune 1000 firms are increasing the speed of investment into big data and AI capabilities.
However, that same study found that 77.1% of respondents found implementation of AI and big data into company culture to be a major challenge.
Factors that have often been identified in regards to this struggle include a lack of data literacy, which links to the wider issue of a tech skills gap, and a lack of trust.