If your data is your best storyteller, the technology layer capable of turning them into insights, is the "gold" for your business.
Digital transformation has been steadily increasing in recent years, which is a change that is essential in all sectors and industries and has a direct impact on how we relate and live. Digital offers new opportunities and makes organizations more agile and competitive. This is an inescapable reality and companies have to integrate it into their vision, or risk staying out of this new reality, which is immediate.
In an increasingly connected world, the increase in data volume is exponential, and these data need to be correctly processed and analyzed so that the strategies used are relevant and impactful.
By 2017, organizations have taken great strides towards optimizing and extending Business Intelligence (BI). According to a Gartner study, BI and data analysis have been the top investment priorities of CIOs over the past year. More and more organizations aspire to have a predictive and intelligent analytics that allow them to speed up their decision-making.
By 2018, Big Data and Analytics are in evidence because of their ability to analyze data and help organizations and their decision makers make the best business decisions. Never has the world produced as much information as it does now. In 2015, 7.91 ZB of data were produced and 40 ZB are expected to be produced in 2020. Turning this data into knowledge and information allows the organization's key indicators to be consolidated by providing accurate and analytical views that support decision-making, as well as establishing new correlations between data by using predictive analytics to transform data into intelligent and actionable information. Analytics associated with Internet of Things delivers intelligence in everything connected, radically changing the way we make decisions and streamline business processes.
If before the question was to gather and analyze a large volume of data for better insights, the question today is how to make the machine work in our favor. Here enters Machine Learning, which is already being applied in several solutions of Artificial Intelligence. The algorithms thus help create new dashboards, more intelligent and capable of creating correlations that would hardly be perceivable to the human eye.
Machine Learning continues to enrich data management platforms, meaning users will find additional support for integrated machine learning capabilities while exploring, profiling, filtering and analyzing data. The techniques of this technology will enable the identification of relationships between them in order to help the user to perform integrations, unions and other operations, whose objective is to increase the productivity of the data consumer and make the management of these more diffuse, while making them more "Conscious."
Artificial Intelligence is also at the top of the trends. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a science designed to make machines perform what is usually done by sophisticated human intelligence. Together with Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence is changing the way we interact with analysis and data management. The AI receives a series of commands and schedules, but its main attribute is to be able to learn every "task" performed. The system compares trends, gathers information and aligns your actions according to what guarantees you the greatest amount of hits, making it more accurate and impactful to the business.
The demand for real-time analytics tools is growing and the arrival of the Internet of Things (IoT) brings a wealth of statistics, making smart analytics top of the list.
Another trend is predictive and prescriptive analysis, that is, the practice of extracting information from existing data sets to predict future probabilities. Predictive analysis includes the estimation of future information and therefore suggests the possibility of errors in the definition of the strategy, showing possible future scenarios with an acceptable level of reliability, and includes some alternatives and risk assessments. Predictive analytics investigates current and historical facts to better understand products, partners, competitors and customers in order to predict potential risks and opportunities for the company. Among the different predictive analyzes, two recently attracted more attention - Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) and Mobile Autoregressive Means (ARIMA).
Another highly relevant trend for BI is Natural Language Processing (NLP), which focuses on a branch of artificial intelligence related to what computer programs understand about human language. It is based on linguistics and deep learning - a type of AI capable of finding a relevant correlation, analyzing large amounts of data and increasing understanding of the program. The NLP will enable employees to ask more detailed questions about the data and receive relevant responses that will lead them to the best decisions. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 50% of analytic queries will be generated through search and Natural Language Processing (NLP), or voice.
By 2018, organizations will increase focus on Data Governance and the quality of information. New intelligent management tools and methodologies will help drive this trend and reduce the cultural divide between business and technology. In addition, with a clean, fast and centralized source of information, users are more likely to deepen reliable and secure data.
Data Quality Management (DQM) also occupies a prominent place in BI trends and includes acquisition, processing, deployment, efficient distribution and management, and advanced information oversight.
Embedded Business Intelligence also emerges with emphasis on the integration of BI tools or selected functions in another business application to fill gaps in the analysis or reporting of applications. In this way, you can transform your raw data into an interactive dashboard that will enhance the user experience through real-time analysis and visualization of innovative figures that enable decision makers to implement the best strategy faster and more autonomously. Collaborative Business Intelligence is also in the focus of trends. Developed in a context of enhanced collaboration, it addresses a new challenge of rapid delivery, conducting further analysis and reporting. With more data available, users become more self-sufficient to create their own analyzes, without having to rely on third parties.
Security remains present as one of the trends in Business Intelligence and in 2018, this trend will accelerate. Organizations are increasingly looking for safer solutions to avoid risk and data loss.
Finally the Multi-cloud strategy. By 2018, as cloud computing tools become widely available in the marketplace, the trend is to be increasingly used by companies, so the choice for this strategy is a great choice as it can reduce risk and have a bigger flexibility.
At the moment, data analysis is not only essential, but also mandatory for professionals in all areas, from small to large companies. In the professional environment, employees expect intuitive BI platforms to be the decision-making process at all levels, since the difference between right and wrong decision is information.
The main challenge of the sector is, on one hand, to be able to make organizations understand the importance of defining a strategy for the integration of new technologies, and, on the other, to recognize the relevance of better identifying and gathering information, analyzing it effectively for better decision-making. It is crucial to use the data to improve products and processes by establishing direct links between the decision-making process and the development of intelligent systems.
In an increasingly digital, advanced and extremely competitive world, technology represents an opportunity for Portuguese companies to excel in an increasingly global economy. It is therefore essential that the business community recognize the importance and need to modernize, adapt and create products or services with higher added value.
- Opinion article published in media Exame Informática – April, 2018