Three major IT trends that all analytics students must know

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Information technology is evolving to meet new business needs and improve efficiency. Students in data analytics master’s programs learn the skills and procedures to guide an organization toward growth, but it’s vital to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in IT. By closely following the trends driving today’s workplace technology, data experts prepare themselves to make the best use of the hardware and software tools available to them.

1. Capturing the potential of the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is continuing to find more uses in the home and workplace alike, whether enabling more efficient use of heating and air conditioning systems or tracking the tasks completed by workers. With the wider adoption of sensor-equipped devices, the digital architecture that stands behind a company’s operations and strategy is becoming a visible part of everyday tasks. As IoT grows into an essential platform for a variety of businesses, data experts will need a thorough understanding of how the introduction of connected equipment affect the company as a whole.

Bringing IoT devices together with artificial intelligence and machine learning is one shift that could have a massive impact on the way organizations run. Cognitive computing systems drawing input from sensors embedded in devices used throughout the company could detect the relevant patterns that fuel predictive analytics and machine learning. As a result, decision-makers will gain enhanced insights into what’s happening across the operation, and use those findings to inform long-term strategies.

2. Strengthening security measures

Cybersecurity is a constant concern for data professionals and IT experts; the motivation to bolster protections for systems and private information remains a vital force in business technology. High-profile incidents of hackers obtaining personal data or engaging in large-scale ransomware attacks have made clear that the reputation and success of a company depends on its ability to defend itself. Building in smart, adaptive measures to ward off intrusions across the infrastructure is only becoming a more pressing need for organizations, as the information they collect has become integral to every aspect of planning for the future.

From the perspective of analytics professionals, the imperative for tightened security calls for greater cooperation among data architects and IT experts, including all stakeholders involved in setting up systems and procedures for gathering, storing, analyzing and applying information. Instituting multiple layers of security and using behavioral analytics to watch out for anomalous or dangerous activities are crucial components of preparing for evolving threats. Data management and IT departments need to collaborate with security specialists in constructing a sustainable infrastructure that ensures a massive volume of information is securely stored, transferred and, at the end of its life cycle, deleted.

3. Aligning data with business needs

The use of big data and analytics to guide strategy has become a widely accepted part of how companies function. However, organizations are still working to get the operations in particular departments on track with what they are learning about market conditions, consumer behavior and best practices for efficiency. The next step in putting quantitative information to work will be implementing technology and procedures that take full advantage of the insights now available, laying the groundwork for optimizing procedures and putting innovative ideas into action.

Through increased collaboration and advancements in the available solutions, IT and data professionals are strengthening their ability to offer various parts of the business the precise tools and strategic awareness they need to accomplish their goals. These initiatives demonstrate that analytics is not just about getting a fuller perspective on the big picture, but also improving how a company accomplishes tasks in smaller ways that add up over time. A movement toward modular, flexible solutions that can be customized to the particular needs of different parts of the organization puts the power of analytics in the hands of individuals at all levels of the enterprise.

Learn to stay on top of technology trends

Big data is at the forefront of how companies are strategizing for future expansion and finding opportunities for adding efficiency. To be a leader in making the possibilities presented by analytics realistic for an organization, experts need training and hands-on experience with the latest tools and approaches. An advanced education puts them in touch with current trends in IT while giving them the perspective to capture the full potential of ongoing technological advances.

Professionals who earn a master’s in business analytics at Villanova University come away with a thorough understanding of how to go from gathering large quantities of data to acting on those findings. Visit the program page to find out how you can apply.

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