7 takeaways from Gartner BI 2016

If you missed Gartner’s Business Intelligence, Analytics & Information Management Summit 2016, read on to discover my 7 key takeaways from the event.

Overall it was another great event from Gartner with a strong focus on the data and analytics trends that will help set our compass for the present and into the future.

Focus on business outcomes
Organisations need to make sure the application of data and analytics is focused on “business outcomes”. This may sound a little motherhood but it’s something we need to keep reminding ourselves of, or we risk slipping into bad habits of looking for a problem to suit our IT solutions. Gartner highlighted this as the number 1 reason great solutions failed to achieve funding within organisations.

Algorithms are the new IP
Algorithms are set to become the basis of competition between organisations, with Gartner predicting that 75% of large and mid-sized organisations will compete using advanced analytics and algorithms by 2020. Data Scientists rev your engines!

And, it's no longer just “who owns your data” but “who owns your algorithms”
Continuing on from the point above, data became a balance sheet asset a while back, next, it will be algorithms and registered IP that will accumulate value for organisations.

The emergence of the Chief Data Officer (finally)
Gartner claims that 90% of leading organisations will have hired a “Chief Data Officer” by 2019. This trend is long overdue given data is the lifeblood of an organisation and having the right chief and commander ensures your data, like your products, are managed and exploited through their full lifecycle. Some leading Australian companies are well ahead here having already employed this role over the past few years and this trend is set to continue.

Trial / Freemium analytics software is the new black
Tableau pioneered the Freemium trend in analytics and the big vendors are following fast – witness IBM’s Watson Analytics. Proofs Of Concept “POCs” that allow organisations to try before they buy is the new preference for in building/adopting data and analytics solutions and technologies. For business it makes sense, it’s cheaper and less risky to try first, allowing the comparison of solutions on real business scenarios. Many of our clients are adopting this approach and they are benefitting from shortening the time spent on strategy and architecture and moving to generate insights faster.

We need new measures to allow us to trust data in a digital world.
Gartner asserts the number 1 reason that people have trust issues in data is that technology innovation goes too far. We need to put measures and governance in place to ensure we can trust data in this digital world. This is achieved through quality, availability, understanding and security. The question is, do you trust data until proven untrustworthy, or do you NOT trust data until proven trustworthy? Data moves quickly, so either way, we need to ensure we implement ways to trust our data so it can be fully exploited.

Data/Information security needs to keep pace with the growth in data
As data grows, organisations need to focus on data security to manage the risk of cyber extortion, data leaks, internal and external breaches, and accidental misuse of data. While there has been a particular focus on insurance policies in the context of data security recently, insurance only covers the direct financial impact of breaches. Insurance does not protect your brand reputation, your personal reputation, the interruption to business operations or the long-term impact to customer loyalty.

Information and data security was a hot topic at Gartner with a number of sessions focused on the topic and a large number of organisations I spoke to are making it their top priority. I believe Gartner’s 3 key messages around data security are well worth heeding:

  • stay paranoid,
  • be aggressive (data mask, spread data packets, continuous monitoring), and
  • share openly with security colleagues to step up the game.

Finally, it was interesting to observe that the hype around ‘Big Data’ is starting to moderate with the conversation simply focused around ‘data’ rather than the well worn ‘Big Data’. This is a sign that the business of data and analytics is maturing and the hype is making way for the practical and useful application of data and analytics to support business outcomes.

Overall another insightful and valuable Gartner event, and I’m already looking forward to 2017! It was great to have the team exhibiting again this year for the 6th year in a row, and I also enjoyed the chance to meet with a wide array of people who share our passion and vision for data and analytics.

intelligence and analytics