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Five Data Analytics Predictions for 2016

2016_trendsIt’s the time of year for resolutions and predictions. While I’m not going to bore you with my New Year’s resolutions, I would like to share some predictions for the data analytics market that I think you’ll enjoy.

2016: The “Year of the Data Analyst”

With an expected annual job growth rate of 27%, it looks like 2016 will be the “Year of the Data Analyst.” Demand for data analysts has never been higher—and neither has the supply of qualified individuals to meet that demand. What’s more, the future remains bright, as universities are graduating more individuals skilled in data analytics than ever before.

IT will embrace the self-service analytics movement

Strong and continuing demand for data analytics means IT is under constant pressure to help users across the business—not just data analysts, but anyone who works with data every day—to get the answers they need. We think that this year, IT will embrace the concept of self-service analytics and see the importance of their role in enabling business users to access critical data that helps their organizations become more competitive.

Predictive analytics will go mainstream

According to many of the industry analyst firms, not only has the emergence of big data increased interest in predictive analytics, it has also significantly broadened the market for this kind of advanced analysis. However, running predictive analytics typically requires an expensive data scientist with a Ph.D. degree. With the demand for predictive far outpacing the supply of data scientists, we think that’s all going to change in 2016, and this year predictive analytics will become accessible to everyone.

The “Internet of Things” will spark interest in geospatial analytics

Every one of us has at least one mobile device, each of which tells companies much about our tastes, preferences, and movements. We, as consumers, benefit from this information with personalized offers and more. Given that, it’s surprising that only 23% of organizations today are using location intelligence for critical business decisions. But with the cost of IoT devices dropping and increased access to self-service analytics, we see that dramatically changing in 2016 as more companies shift from not just collecting location data from devices, but combining that data with other information to unlock the true value of geospatial analytics.

Analytics will win the Gold Medal—and the US Presidency

Analytics will also take center stage in two big events of the year: the Summer Olympics and the U.S. Presidential election. In the Olympics, analysts will use historical data to predict the likely winning time or distance for each event, which will change how athletes train and compete: Instead of competing with each other, they will focus on whatever it takes to beat that time or distance. And in the elections, predictive models will become more sophisticated than ever and the winner of the election may very well be the one who has the best analysts on his or her team.

We’ll be back at the end of 2016 to see how our predictions played out, but suffice it to say that we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg about how analytics can improve our business and personal lives for many years to come.

Contributed by: By Bob Laurent, Sr. Director of Marketing at Alteryx, Inc.


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