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Natural language processing and conversational analytics rise to top trends

One of the top data and analytics technology trends this year will be the ongoing growth of natural language processing and conversational analytics, according to research firm Gartner Inc.

The firm, at its recent Data & Analytics Summit, named NLP as a top trend for 2019 along with augmented analytics, augmented data management, continuous intelligence, explainable artificial intelligence (AI), graph analytics, data fabric, commercial AI and machine learning, blockchain, and persistent memory servers.

These technologies are expected to have “significant disruptive potential” over the next three to five years, Gartner said. Data and analytics leaders need to examine the potential business impact of these trends and adjust business models and operations accordingly, or risk losing competitive advantage to those who do, said Rita Sallam, research vice president at Gartner.

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Multiple cables connect to powered supercalculator Blade computer units during testing at the Bull SA headquarters in Angers, France, on Monday, June 23, 2014. Thierry Breton, chief executive officer of software maker Atos, is engineering a 620 million-euro ($846 million) bid to acquire Bull, the company he tried to revive two decades ago. Photographer: Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg

By 2020, 50 percent of analytical queries will be generated via search, natural language processing or voice, or will be automatically generated, the firm said.

The need to analyze complex combinations of data and to make analytics accessible to everyone within an organization will drive broader adoption of NLP and conversational analytics, allowing analytics tools to be as easy as a search interface or a conversation with a virtual assistant.

Gartner recommends that data and analytics leaders talk with senior business leaders about their critical business priorities and explore how the top trends can enable them.

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