Data analytics trends to look for in 2017

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Data analytics is now a common aspect of business practice across an array of industries, from health care to finance to marketing and beyond. The practice of data analytics, in its most general sense, involves the collection of vast amounts of data that is then scrutinized to derive actionable insights about an organization.

Much like technological innovation in general, the practice of data analytics continues to evolve and improve, particularly in accordance with the debut of new digital platforms. As we head into 2017, there is little doubt that new and exciting trends in data analytics will begin to emerge. Here is a guide to some of the most significant and anticipated data analytics trends for 2017:

1. Sharing data

While the collection of data is sophisticated, it is still difficult and rare to be able to share and move data between services and platforms. According to Information Age, this will likely begin to change in the coming year and beyond. The source explained that, while there are currently platforms available that facilitate the sharing of data between services, there will likely be attempts in 2017 to make this a standardized practice across platforms and services. The ability to share business-related and personal data between providers and services with ease will streamline the practice of analytics.

2. The cloud will become king

The use of the cloud continues to grow in popularity, and Tech Republic predicts that in 2017 a growing number of organizations, from large corporations to small businesses, will move more of their data solutions to the cloud, as opposed to using data centers featuring equipment at the office. The flexibility and accessibility of the cloud, along with the savings, is driving this shift in data analytics practice.

3. A push for immediate results

The practice of data analytics involves mining data to eventually reach actionable insights and ideas that can then be implemented to improve a company’s strategy. As detailed by Tech Republic, this process is often complicated by the fact that data needs to be collected, compiled into reports and then scrutinized for insight. As a consequence, there will likely be a growing demand for analytics platforms that can not only mine for data, but also simultaneously deliver immediate results that can be acted upon.

4. More data

Perhaps one of the most obvious trends that can be expected to continue, according to Forbes contributor Bernard Marr, is that the amount of available data across the world will continue to rise at a remarkable rate. This is because of the development and proliferation of more and more digital platforms.

5. Historical data

Tech Republic observed that organizations will likely begin to incorporate what is known as “dark data” into their analytics practices. Dark data is generally older information that is stored in hard-copy format. It can take the form of paper, videos, photos and other documents. The source explained that this information will likely become useful to companies, because it can be used to gain insight on past company performance, older trends and business practices.

6. A push for privacy

Marr predicted that there will be a growing push from governments to regulate big data privacy and punish any violations of IT privacy mandates. Marr cited the introduction of new privacy rules by the European Union as a sign that the push for privacy control will continue. He also cited a study by Gartner, which noted that in as little as a year, around half of all cases pertaining to business ethics violations will be connected to data security—or a lack thereof. Tech Republic noted that companies will likely respond to this shift by strengthening permission protocol for data access.

7. More qualified analysts

As the field of data analysis continues to grow, the demand for qualified professionals will rise. Information Age explained that in response to the growing number of jobs, it is becoming easier to get trained in the practice of analytics, thanks to online tutorials. It is possible to take online classes in analytics programs such as R and SAS. Furthermore, online programs at the master’s level now offer training and qualifications in this area.

8. The rise of personal platforms

From devices such as wearables to Amazon’s Echo device, platforms that can offer digital personal assistance and other services using personal data will continue to grow in sophistication and proliferation, Marr predicted. He explained that robotic technology will continue to become more widely used, as will inventions that seemingly belong to the future, such as self-driving vehicles.

9. The need to demonstrate ROI

While data analytics continues to be used widely across companies and organizations worldwide, Tech Republic predicted that a growing number of CEOs, board members and company executives will likely begin pushing to see a tangible return on investment for their analytics programs and strategies. Therefore, it is important for data analytics professionals to develop ways of showing ROI to company executives to ensure the programs continue in earnest. As the source explained, if data strategies are seemingly ineffective at driving income, they will be terminated.

Consider Villanova University

If you are interested in shifting your professional goals and begin a career in data analytics, consider applying to Villanova University’s online Master of Science in Analytics program. Designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills to succeed in this emerging business practice, and help you study at a time and pace that suits you, the online program is an ideal way to balance your professional and personal commitments with study. Learn more about Villanova University’s online Master of Science in Analytics program.