Knowledge is the most valuable asset in both life and business. Whether we like it or not, our modern-day existence leaves a digital fingerprint that reveals virtually everything about us. And from a business standpoint, this is more than any entrepreneur could hope for – an opportunity to collect and analyze data on customers, competitors, and markets.
It’s no wonder then that business intelligence (BI) is booming. Having already revolutionized decision making, the many technologies and practices for data collection and analysis are growing more powerful by the minute.
Driven by the latest developments of AI, ML, and NLP, the following business intelligence trends will shape the future of business in 2020.
- Integrated Content and Capabilities
“You have to be able to identify patterns in data so that you can ask the right questions that lead to informed, data-driven decisions,” the Research Optimus team correctly notices. But you also have to be able to do that in real-time. On-the-spot decision making is just as vital as long-term strategizing – without it, businesses would never achieve necessary efficiencies.
That’s why we expect to see a more robust integration of analytic content and capabilities within business process applications.
The so-called embedded analytics – our first business intelligence trend for 2020 – will help businesses work smarter by integrating data analysis into existing systems, such as financial software, marketing automation, ERP, or CRM.
2. New Roles for Digital Assistants
Instead of accessing their visual workflows, benchmarking reports, and data visualization dashboards themselves, employees will soon be equipped with digital assistants to do that for them.
Thanks to AI and NLP, voice-activated assistants such as Siri and Alexa will also start transcribing language and converting it into structured data to be analyzed for insights.
3. Generating Actionable Insights
Instead of collecting, aggregating, and storing data, modern-day businesses will start relying on AI to generate actionable insights.
On an SMB level, the need for data scientists will not be as dire as today – thanks to augmented analytics, businesses will no longer have to spend their time and money on analyzing raw data. AI will enable them to act on key insights.
Similar capabilities will be unlocked for large data sets as well. Taken together, ML and NLP give tools for augmented analytics the ability to understand and interact with data organically. AI will soon be able to notice unusual or valuable changes in patterns by itself, regardless of the size and complexity of data sets. Businesses will only need to enter raw data.
4. Data as a Valuable Commodity
The world’s leading brands are already monetizing on the data collected from their users. A number of them, like Facebook and Google, are earning a lot of money by selling private information to third parties, but that doesn’t mean that data trade is necessarily illegal or ethically wrong.
Regulated data trade may be the profession of the future.
Be it as it may, savvy businesses will certainly start putting a more realistic value on the data they keep. In terms of business intelligence trends for 2020, we can expect both data monetization by selling and indirect data monetization. In this second case, companies will use their data to determine new revenue opportunities with much better accuracy.
5. Partnering Up to Leverage Data
Data collaboratives have thus far been more dominant in the public sector, where governments and industries have been working together to release previously siloed data and use it to address global challenges like affordable housing and safe drinking water. As of recently, data collaboratives have become very popular in the private sector as well.
In 2020 and beyond, a more significant number of companies will start partnering up and joining their databases to drive positive change with public value.
Data partners will start coming from different industries, encouraged by governments, universities, and other public organizations. This is one of the most positive business intelligence trends.
6. Diversification of Data Jobs
The bigger volume and greater use of data will lead to a necessary diversification of data-related jobs across industries. We’ll see the creation of positions such as the data project manager, the data ambassador, and the data translator.
Together, they’ll be able to cover the growing demand and fast specialization of different fields related to big data.
7. Big Data and Big Metadata
Speaking of big data, 2020 will probably be an important milestone for big metadata. The more the volume, velocity, and variety of data keep increasing, the more we need metadata to help us make sense of raw data.
This is especially important when it comes to business intelligence, which relies on structured data sets to help us analyze information.
8. Predictive Analytics for All
The increasing democratization of predictive analytics is going in two directions. AI, ML, and NLP are becoming more popular than ever – their exponential commercialization is making AI-based solutions affordable to businesses big and small.
Ambitious companies will no longer have to make expensive investments in BI technology and data specialists.
But the democratization of predictive analytics also means that “companies that want to compete in the age of data need to be ready to do three things: share data tools, spread data skills, and spread data responsibility.”
In 2020, basic data literacy will have to become an integral part of the employee training programs and continual L&D.
9. Machine Learning as a Service
And while some businesses will start going deeper into business intelligence and data analysis, others will start throwing money at it. Companies that have no time or resources to invest in complicated data analysis tools will take an alternative approach by employing machine learning as a service. In 2020, MLaaS will skyrocket to a whole new level.
Popular MLaaS providers, including Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Google, and BigML, are already offering attractive machine learning services to businesses that can’t or don’t want to deal with the complexities of implementing in-house ML programs.
The most high-in-demand ML services in 2020 will be predictive analysis, NLP, and data visualization.
For those who understand the prevailing importance of business intelligence, these will be exciting times. All companies that are looking to stay relevant and competitive in 2020 would be smart to start following business intelligence trends and implementing cutting-edge BI solutions. It’s time to start speaking the language of big data and metadata.