2017 has been a very big year for data and analytics, with huge strides made in data science, artificial intelligence (AI) and dry cliché’s about “data being the new oil” are largely disappearing.
At Corinium we have seen many trends in data and analytics come and go over the years, so we have looked at what the next big things will be in the field for 2018 and listed our top 10 key trends we are likely to see next year from greater integration with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, to more concern about data security and the rise of the Chief Cyber Security Officer:
1. More Widespread use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
In 2017 artificial intelligence (AI) became mainstream in a big way and arguably was one of the hottest talking points of the year alongside “digital transformation”. In 2018 we believe that we will start seeing the emergence of real life and use cases of AI in much bigger numbers than previously. Organizations will start to share even more case studies of how AI is revolutionizing their enterprises and as a result we predict that there will be a rise in the number of Chief Artificial Intelligence Officers (CAIO’s) and similar C-suite titles.
2. Big Data Merges with Digital Transformation
Many trends will emerge in 2018 to make it the year that Big Data merges into the Digital Transformation, with “Data Translators” showing whether they will be the real deal next year after all the talk of them in 2017. Data analytics and data science functions need shrewd communicators to sell their work to organizations and increase understanding of it, but there is an argument that many data and analytics and data science leaders are extremely capable of doing this themselves if time allows – so the jury is out on which path this will take in 2018. Data Engineers are set to have a big 2018 too with many organizations waking up to the reality of needing expert data engineers within their functions.
3. The Rise of Mobile Devices for Purchasing
The rise in social media, mobile analytics, connected consumers, mining Big Data, and strict regulations are some of the key focus trends to be aware of in 2018. How companies communicate to customers, especially via social media, will come under greater scrutiny. The protection of valuable customer data will also intensify as the volume of data increases into zettabytes of information. Mobile as a purchasing and communication platform will only increase and the value of this information would need to be examined as customers continue to evolve. Companies who fail to innovate by investing in modern technology and agile methodologies in 2018 will increasingly run the risk of being left behind.
4. The Protection of Customer Data and the Rise of the Chief Cyber Security Officer
In 2018 cybercriminals will become even more sophisticated and organized when it comes to malicious attacks, employing a range of tactics to ensure maximum disruption and financial gain. As a result, 2017 was a huge wake up call for organizations in terms of assessing the security of their data and implementing processes to organize, help protect sensitive data and defend against cyber attacks. Additionally, with many organizations in the European Union having to make themselves compliant ready for the new GDPR Directive that will come into force from May 25 2018, we predict that many US States will adopt their own GDPR-like regulations next year. As more organizations take data security seriously, we will see the rise of the Chief Security Officer (CSO) or Chief Cyber Security Officer (CCSO) with both key roles being added to the C-suite next year. There will be a growing awareness among the C-suite that cyber security is no longer just a technological issue and that it is a business challenge that needs broader solutions, and we will finally see an end to the “head in the sand” approach to cyber security from the C-suite. With more technology in the workplace than ever before such as the addition of DevOps, Cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), this means that organizations are more open to cyber attacks than ever before – and they will need a guardian – and that’s the CSO or CCSO.
5. The Merger of the Chief Data Officer and Chief Analytics Officer Roles
In 2018 we predict that we will see a strong convergence of these roles with them merging together in terms of title and responsibilities. Many more Chief Data and Analytics Officer appointments are made than ever before or alternatively a Chief Data Officer or Chief Analytics Officer will be hired with their responsibilities ranging from defensive to offensive, with larger teams fully capable of delivering both core functions.
6. The Emergence of AI as a Means of Service Delivery
As customers becomes more accepting of AI as a technology and a means of service delivery we will continue to see it being pushed to the front of the customer experience, with organizations and departments that provide an excellent customer experience using AI witnessing large leaps in customer satisfaction, and they will also reap the benefits of an always-on system. To make this work seamlessly the relationship between traditional tech-focused roles and roles that focus on the customer must work closely together to ensure the smooth delivery of these projects which many have suggested will lead to more hybrid type roles in 2018.
7. The Continued Use of Data Visualization
One of the biggest areas of investment that has been seen in the world of data and analytics is in the world of data visualization. A solid dashboard of data and analytics real time feeds enables higher levels of critical thinking which results in more enhanced decision making. What these improvements in data visualization will mean for the role of the Chief Data Officer is currently under debate – some suspect that it will make the role somewhat redundant, but such a critical business area will always need a leader at the helm and more will always need to be done with company data sets.
8. The Impact of Machine Learning on the Job Market
A big impact that we will see of machine learning in 2018 is on the job market with roles such as data entry and other entry-level labor-intensive roles being re-focused, and those skills put to other uses within organizations as these roles are replaced by more intelligent systems that can learn to undertake the role more effectively. This effect may mean that HR departments have a very challenging year in 2018.
9. The Emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the Data and Analytics Space
Many organizations in 2017 became aware of the power which lies within the unlocked potential of their data assets with a paradigm shift occurring with them placing more emphasis on data-driven versus instinctively-led decision making. The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) will help to drive this shift further with the most forward-thinking companies seeing this as a competitive advantage and leveraging this personalization and corporate partnerships more in 2018, something which would have been unfathomable 5 or more years ago.
10. The Emergence of Cloud Technologies in the Data and Analytics Space
Cloud technologies have been talked about a lot in the data and analytics space over the past 12 months, and whilst there is a huge interest in the scalability that the Cloud provides there is still much scepticism around the security of the Cloud as well as compatibility with organizations legacy systems. Throughout 2018 we are likely to see more companies experiment and adopt Cloud solutions as their true value is realized and exploited. However, many companies that do currently use the Cloud are reluctant to talk openly about their activities with it for fear of disclosing organizational advantages, so being able to see a true picture of this in 2018 may be more challenging.
For more predictions in data and analytics in 2018, please see our video where we interviewed some of the top professionals in the field of data and analytics.
About Corinium Digital
Corinium Digital offers digital marketing solutions made possible by our global network of emerging CXO roles. Our speciality is audience acquisition from cross- sector industries & a range of seniority from junior staff all the way to the decision-making C-suite (500,000+ global contacts). We provide multiple platforms to build relationships all year with our truly digital CXO communities. We will improve your lead generation, branding & content/ thought leadership. Advising on industry insights with dedicated editorial staff, online content specialists, digital marketing advisors & UX/ CJM manager, we can help create an integrated, digital strategy to increase your online presence.
Written by Lisa Ventura, Content Marketing & Editorial Manager – Corinium Digital.
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