Business and technology are experiencing convergence, which will mean that data and analytics leaders are central to any high-performance digital organization. Organizations cannot differentiate themselves from their competitors with technology alone. In fact, no present-day business of any kind can operate without technology: Hardware, software, networks and applications are central to our professional and personal lives; they are a minimum requirement.

So how do companies achieve a competitive advantage in today’s business environments? Simply put, they must learn to use data, information and analytics more easily and more effectively. If data and analytics leaders don’t develop the new strategies, skills, roles and methods needed to manage and analyze data, they will be overwhelmed — both as organizations and individuals. We will be drowning in the seas of data that we have created, unable to separate truth from fiction, and unable to make decisions with confidence. Information is power, but that power can be destructive as well as creative.

Expert Q&A with Ted Friedman, Distinguished VP Analyst

Q: How have business intelligence and analytics evolved? That is, any major changes in the market? Changes in strategy? Changes in technology?

A: Roles, teams, budget and technology for data and analytics continues to spread across organizations, with related initiatives being led and driven in all business functions. AI and advanced analytics capabilities are starting to infuse more use cases, and the demand for “smart” capabilities (including machine learning and other styles of AI) is growing. New types of analytics use cases are causing CIOs and their teams to rethink the underlying data management infrastructure with a focus on distributed data architectures and event streams, rather than centralized architectures focused on data sets at rest.  

Q: What’s one of the biggest mistake organizations make when it comes to analytics and business intelligence?

A: Assuming they can succeed by leveraging only their existing skills, technology capabilities and architectural approaches — contemporary data and analytics use cases will require organizations to modernize in a variety of areas, from roles and team structures to their choices of vendors and technologies.

Q: How are IT leaders leveraging analytics and business intelligence to transform their organizations?

A: Data and analytics are becoming the heart of new services and products that forward-looking organizations are offering to their customers. In essence, data and analytics on data is becoming the product or service  enabling organizations to transform their business models in ways that open up new revenue streams, enable entry into new markets and engage their customers in new and compelling ways.

Q: Finish this sentence: If organizations don’t get their data and analytics right, they will …

A: … rapidly fall behind their competitors and eventually be marginalized. They will miss tremendous opportunities to monetize insights from data and will be unable to transform their existing business processes and business models.

Gartner Business Intelligence and Advanced Analytics Predicts

  • By 2021, the CDO role will be the most gender diverse of all technology-affiliated C-level positions, with 33% females up from 18% today.
  • By 2022, 30% of leading organizations will formally adopt infonomics practices and value their information assets, maintaining a balance sheet for internal purposes.
  • Through 2022, only 20% of organizations investing in information governance will succeed in scaling governance for digital business.
  • By 2021, distributed, semantic processing for data management and integration will neutralize location of data as a dominant planning constraint for information strategies.
  • By 2022, over half of data and analytics services will be performed by machines instead of human beings.

Hot topics covered at Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo™ will include:

  • Advanced analytics
  • Master data management
  • Big data