I’ve been quite the world traveler recently, and I’ve talked to executives from companies around the globe about their analytics needs and what their take on the future of analytics will look like. Among all these conversations, there were several recurring themes that sound like emerging analytics trends. So in the interest of keeping my pundit reputation intact, I thought I’d address these trends in my first column of the year.

The first theme that surfaced with just about everyone I talked with – from other pundits to CEOs – was the increasing sophistication of analytics software and the need for a simplified approach to presenting the results of complex analysis. Analytics tool vendors have realized over the past couple of years that to be effective and reach the widest audience, analytics software should present the results of sophisticated analysis on large and complex data sets in an easy to read, actionable format. As a result, most tools today have advanced visualization capabilities – so much so that sophisticated visual presentation has become an absolute requirement for analytics tools.

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