Throughout the course of our research in 2016, we’ll be exploring ways in which organizations can maximize the value of their data. Ventana Research believes that analytics is the engine and data is the fuel to power better business decisions. Several themes emerged from our benchmark research on incorporating data and analytics into organizational processes, and we will follow them in our 2016 Business Analytics Research Agenda:
Analytics enabling continuous optimization
Streamlining analytics with data and information technology
Digital technologies transforming analytics for business.
Organizations generate data continuously, and they should analyze and refine it continuously – that is, optimize it – to improve their actions, decisions and processes. Our research shows predictive analytics to be a key tool for such optimization and indicates the convergence of analytics with applications to accomplish these goals. Nearly half (49%) of participants in our next-generation predictive analytics benchmark research said they prefer to deploy their predictive analytics within business applications to enable real-time execution. Finding that more than nine out of 10 (92%) participants plan to deploy more predictive analytics, we will monitor the role of data science and analytics teams in these activities. We will also follow how the exploration of big data sets intersects with the discovery portion of analytic processes.
Organizations need to use data and information technology better to streamline analytics. Our research suggests that they will need to invest in data preparation for analytics, as three out of five (62%) participants identified accessing and preparing data as a challenge in their predictive analytics process. The same percentage (62%) cited accessing and integrating data as a main reason for dissatisfaction with their analytic processes.
Organizations can address some of these challenges in gaining access to information by virtualizing data. We also will follow the progress of organizations in using cloud-based technologies to help streamline their analytics; more than three-fourths (76%) of participants inour data and analytics in the cloud benchmark research said that accessing data from cloud-based systems is important. We will continue to investigate and report on these topics in the course of planned benchmark research on data preparation.
Other digital technologies will impact analytics for business. More than four-fifths (82%) of organizations in our data and analytics in the cloud research can access and review data and analytics on mobile devices. Simplification of mobile technologies can speed access to an organization’s information, yet access alone is not sufficient. We will track developments in collaboration across the organization to enable action on analytics. The Internet of Things (IoT) – the network of devices, vehicles, buildings and other items that are embedded with electronics,software, sensors and connectivity – brings data and in-motion challenges due to the combination of large volumes of information and requirements for low latency in processing. We will be studying these topics in our Internet of Things and Operational Intelligence benchmark research. Finally, we will follow the evolution of natural-language processing and cognitive systems as methods for searching and presenting information to ordinary business users.
We’ll be studying these issues and more throughout the year. Please download and review our full Business Analytics agenda. I invite you to participate in this research as it is conducted during the year. I look forward to sharing the insights it provides and to helping your organization apply those insights to its business needs.
(About the author: David Menninger is a senior vice president and research director at Ventana Research. This post originally appeared on his Ventana blog, which can be viewed here).