By Suhale Kapoor, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President, Absolutdata Analytics
Whether a business is hoping to enhance its processes, boost its revenue, solve a particular business problem, save costs or decode consumer behaviour ,‘analytics’ has become the one-stop solution for all. In the light of the sector’s dynamic evolution, we foresee a great future in 2016 and beyond.
A whole range of service providers have emerged to address the growing need for storing, accessing and studying big data. This big data has indeed opened up a whole new world of information that can now be married with Business Intelligence (BI) to squeeze out maximum advantage. Another facet that builds up a strong case for data analytics is the changing dynamic of interaction between consumers, marketers and technology. Companies are now realising the importance of self-service analytics thereby allowing data to be used more equitably and uniformly.
Some of the significant trends for 2015 are:
The rise in the number of digital marketing tools in 2015 with new start-ups entering into business. These tools will be increasingly offered as a cloud-based solution (“marketing-as-a-service”) rather than a licensed software.
Increased use of analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) has enabled advertisers and brands to up their Return on Investment (ROI) by increasing digital marketing analytics expenses by 60% in 2015, marking a year of increasingly sophisticated social media dashboards with better metrics and KPIs.
Social media and social advertising on mobile continued to grow. It’s not just about being responsive and managing content for mobile devices – a number of new apps for the social media platforms are expected to emerge in the future.
2015 witnessed a rapid expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT). Wearable technology spread to everyday objects. According to specialists, about 26 billion of them will be connected around the globe by 2020, and about 40% of worldwide data will be generated by communication between machines.
Video added more value to content. Marketing strategies in the last few months have relied heavily on video clippings over and above text or images. In fact, companies that used videos saw their shopping cart increase by a whopping 174%!
Content marketing and predictive analytics continued to be hot areas of interest and investment for CMOs.
The end-user experience was the top innovation project for 2015 and the integration of offline and online experiences became imperative to improve service standards.
Moving forward, 2016 will witness the following trends:
The fast shift to the cloud: The cloud has become a preferred information storage place. Its rapid adoption is likely to continue even in 2016. According to Technology Business Research, big data will lead to tremendous cloud growth; Revenues for top 50 public cloud providers shot up from 47% in the last quarter of 2013 to $ 6.2 billion.
Streaming architectures will hasten data computations: With the help of real-time streaming softwares powered by technologies such as Kafka and Storm, traditional warehouses will be able to push queries directly to the data source to run locally. This will eliminate the need to cull data from a variety of sources and collect it at a central location from time to time. This will quicken the process and also make it less expensive.
Visuals will come to rule: The power of pictures over words is not a new phenomenon – the human brain has been hardwired to favour charts and graphs over reading a pile of staid spreadsheets. This fact has hit data engineers who are readily welcoming visualisation softwares that enable them to see analytical conclusions in a pictorial format. This assists them in finding answers to even the trickiest of questions, correlate a series of variables, communicate concepts and theories with others and finally make forecasts for the future.
Data integration tools will assume more importance: Experts suggest that it’s not only about how much or where all the big data is – on premises or on the cloud. It’s more important to see how it’s assessed using computational tools. With the entry of reliable big data processing engines, developers will explore agile analytics to make sense of scattered, complex and massive amounts of data. This will enable them to convey findings to the right people in a short span of time. Plus, it will make data less stressful by allowing data engineers to connect to datasets and combine them with agile methods.
Centre of Excellence (COE) will equip a business in understanding the peculiar needs and challenges for a data scientist: Creating this special team will help businesses maximise quality and efficiency by allowing analytics to be used across different departments with more ease and confidence. Garnering their expertise to decode a dynamic data management landscape will aid the creation of an ecosystem that scales. This ultimately means better value at less cost.
The Internet of Things’ (IoT) all poised to bring about a data revolution: This network of objects with sensors can collect and exchange data and substantially enhance the potential for insights. According to Gartner, the revenue generates from IoT devices will exceed $300 billion in 2020. This however is just one bit of the bigger picture. Its impact will be palpable across the data universe, encouraging companies to upgrade their tools and processes to derive maximum benefits out of all these new data findings.
Non-analysts will start to dabble in data: Even those not specially trained in the field will begin to crave a more mindful engagement with analytics. This explains why companies are increasingly adopting platforms that allow end users to apply statistics, seek solutions and be on top of numbers.
In a nutshell, data analytics is fast going mainstream with even the smallest of ventures digging into Big Data to make informed business decisions – this will also include the ones in the “squishy” category. This emerging field will continue to hold promise for not only IT but increasingly be employed in research, strategy, product development and marketing fields to bring down costs, gain consumer insights and enhance product offerings.