Gartner: 5 trends shaping analytics and business intelligence

With intelligence at the heart of all digital businesses, IT and business leaders are continuing to make analytics and BI a top investment priority. Gartner’s latest Hype Cycle report identified five of the main trends within this trajectory.

The report also offered insights for data and analytics leaders to help make the transition to augmented analytics, to build a digital culture and to operationalise and scale analytics initiatives.”

The five key trends are:

1. Augmented analytics

Augmented analytics uses machine learning to automate data preparation, insight discovery, data science, and machine learning model development and insight sharing for a broad range of business users, operational workers and citizen data scientists.

Gartner says, as it matures, augmented analytics will become a key feature of modern analytics platforms.

“It will deliver analysis to everyone in an organisation in less time, with less of a requirement for skilled users, and with less interpretative bias than current manual approaches. As this technology develops, there will be more citizen data scientists.”

Gartner predicts that, by 2020, citizen data scientists will surpass data scientists in the amount of advanced analysis they produce, largely due to the automation of data science tasks.

2. Digital culture

A successful digital transformation involves many steps; however, according to Gartner, developing an effective digital culture may be the first and most important.

“Data literacy, digital ethics, privacy, enterprise and vendor data-for-good initiatives encompass digital culture,” said Jim Hare, research vice president at Gartner.

If an organisation wants to derive value from its digital transformation efforts, it must focus on developing data literacy, stated the report. Gartner analysts expect data literacy to impact all employees by becoming not just a business skill but a critical life skill.

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Concerned by the rise of AI, digital society and ‘fake news,’ individuals, organisations and governments are increasingly interested in digital ethics. Gartner says data and analytics (D&A) leaders should sponsor discussions about digital ethics to ensure information and technology is used ethically to gain and retain the trust of employees, customers and partners.

Gartner predicts that, by 2023, 60% of organisations with more than 20 data scientists will require a professional code of conduct incorporating ethical use of D&A.

3. Relationship analytics

The emergence of graph databases, location and social analytical techniques have redefined relationship analytics — how different entities of interest, such as people, places and things, are connected. Analysing unstructured, continually changing data can provide users with information and context about associations in a network and deeper insights that improve the accuracy of predictions and decision-making.

Gartner stated: “Many of the highest value applications are focused on discovery, where the questions to be answered are not known in advance. For example, relationship analytics based on graph techniques can identify illegal behaviour and criminal activity. By analysing formal and informal networks of people, law enforcement agencies can identify money laundering and other criminal activities. It becomes easier for them to distinguish between malignant and benign behaviour within networks.”

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4. Decision intelligence

D&A leaders are drawing on a wealth of data from ecosystems that are in constant motion. According to Gartner, this requires them to use a multitude of techniques to manage data effectively.

“The unpredictability of the outcomes of today’s decision models often stems from an inability to properly capture and account for the uncertainty factors linked to these models’ ‘behaviour’ in a business context. Decision intelligence provides a framework that brings together traditional and advanced techniques to design, model, align, execute, monitor and tune decision models.”

5. Operationalising and scaling

“The number of use cases at the core of a business, on its edges and beyond is exploding,” stated Gartner. “More people want to engage with data, and more interactions and processes need analytics in order to automate and scale.”

Gartner found that analytics services and algorithms are increasingly activated whenever and wherever they are needed. Whether to justify the next big strategic move or to optimise millions of transactions and interactions gradually, analytics tools and the data that powers them are showing up in places where they rarely existed before. This is adding a whole new dimension to the concept of ‘analytics everywhere.’

The full report ‘Hype Cycle for Analytics and Business Intelligence, 2019’ can be found here.

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Andrew Ross

As a reporter with Information Age, Andrew Ross writes articles for technology leaders; helping them manage business critical issues both for today and in the future