Hard to believe another incredible year is almost in the books. In analytics, it seems like each year brings more change and innovation than the previous year. As I peer into my crystal ball to see what 2015 holds, a few things really jump out at me.
- The hype around Big Data has finally crested. Big Data will always be with us, and it will keep getting bigger. But business users have come to the realization that analytics is the key to unlocking value from Big Data. In 2015, more companies will cultivate in-house analytic competencies and many will embrace analytics as an important part of their company cultures.
- Predictive security will become an important tool in the effort to stop cyber criminals. With cybercrime and cyber terrorism on the rise, the good guys are finally moving beyond their reactive approach to security. In 2015, police, military and intelligence agencies will employ analytics to predict when, where and how the next attack will occur so such attacks can be thwarted before damage is done.
- We will see a push to automate modeling as well as the reporting that accompanies the modeling. The continued expansion of analytics is predicated on making the process as simple as possible and codifying the steps that many analytic experts take for granted. This is not without some danger, but I believe we will see significant investment in this area.
- The unstructured shall inherit the Earth. Analysis of unstructured data is coming of age, particularly in customer service. Every tweet, chat session, call center conversation, and customer support email is going to be analyzed to accelerate problem resolution, optimize scripts for sales people, enhance shopping experiences, make products less confusing, and increase compliance.
- The causation vs. correlation debate is becoming passé. In some cases, whether the underlying relationship is causal or correlative is irrelevant. In business circles, people want to make better decisions and this matters because you need to know what business levers to pull to get the desired result. Overall it is important to gather good data and trust it. As famed statistician Bradley Efron said, “Those who ignore statistics are condemned to re-invent it.”
I can’t wait to see how many of my predictions come true. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to an exciting 2015. We have many big plans that we’ll be sharing with you in the coming months.