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SAP 2018 Predictions: Focused, Automated and Adopted - The Year Ahead in Analytics

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Nic Smith, Global VP of Product Marketing for Cloud Analytics at SAP

Focused, Automated and Adopted: The Year Ahead in Analytics

2017 was a big year for predictive analytics, and we expect continued momentum in 2018. According to IDC, global revenues for big data and business analytics will grow to more than $203 billion in 2020 - up from $122 billion in 2015. Supported by growth in advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning automation - slated to triple in three years, according to McKinsey - analytics solutions continue to advance with organizational demands.

As we prepare to meet these demands in 2018, we need to look back at 2017 to understand how the industry can continue to transform and exceed customer expectations by delivering the most relevant, real-time and contextual insights to users. Below, we'll analyze the top developments in analytics in 2017 and share predictions about how the industry will continue to innovate next year. 

The highlights of analytics in 2017:

1.       Widespread adoption by highly regulated industries: 2017 was a pivotal year for cloud analytics with even the highest regulated industries relying solely on the cloud. Last year, we saw notoriously stringent businesses adopt cloud analytics in order to take advantage of the technical and cost efficiencies that extend far beyond what on premise solutions offer.

2.       An influx of automated technologies: There was an increase in the pace, and the place of automated and AI assisted technology in decision making. While machine learning and AI solutions are not ubiquitous yet, they have made significant strides in just the past six months as these technologies become more sophisticated. With this in mind, it's clear automation will continue to have a transformative effect on the use of analytics. Organizations will rely on this advancement to uncover insights in large data volumes, and provide simple and contextual insights.

3.       The expansion of digital innovation technologies: It is not a surprise that research shows growth leaders use analytics, but in 2017, they began to pair their existing analytics with complementary technologies. Analytics was clearly at a crossroads, enabling growth decision-makers to expand their suites. With an increase in digital innovation technologies such as IoT, sensors, streaming data, machine learning, blockchain and business data networks, leaders can create their own tech recipe for digital acceleration and deliver accelerated business growth opportunities.

What to expect from analytics in 2018:

1.       Mass migration to the cloud: 2018 could be a game-changing year for cloud analytics with the increased availability of cloud data and applications. Typically, organizations operate in a hybrid manner with analytics across data and applications during their transition to the cloud. An analytics strategy that can address this transition and make it seamless will be critical to operating the business as usual, while bridging with the future. 

2.       Ease of use fosters adoption: Natural language lets users ask their data a question and receive contextual insight and recommendations without needing to understand the underlying data schemas. The simplicity of this action will generate new use cases and increased adoption.  

3.       Increased focus on end-to-end cloud analytics: Cloud based analytics platforms will offer an advanced set of analytic features to discover, plan, predict, visualize, prepare, collaborate, model, simulate and manage common data logic. The SaaS model lets businesses take advantage of product innovations in a seamless experience with common UX, which solves analytical requirements throughout the organization at a lower TCO vs. fragmented solutions causing inconsistencies.

4.       Real-time contextual insights: Organizations will rely on analytics to deliver contextual insight to users in their applications at the most beneficial moment. This will benefit areas like workforce planning, sales compensation, customer churn analysis and supply chain logistics that are dependent on the timely insights users receive in-context within their application workflow.  

5.       Growth of insight as a service: As cloud data and AI, and ML automation grow; organizations will harness the context rich insight which they do not own or control. By connecting to an advanced Data Network, users can access relevant external sources and pair it with internal data to offer new digital services to their customers.

As we head into 2018, organizations are eager for analytics that offer them actionable insights across all levels of business. Analytics offer deep insights that enable organizations to better serve both their customers and employees. Next year, we'll expect to see this industry continue to grow, and refine, with the increased investment in technologies and the growing demand for real-time, contextual information. 


About the Author

Nic Smith 

Nic leads the global product marketing organization for BI and cloud analytics at SAP. A data driven marketing leader, his experience in enterprise and business consumer marketing strategies supports customer innovation and consistently drives growth targets. Nic brings a unique blend of experience in product marketing, storytelling and narrative, field marketing, product management, digital marketing, and customer experience. Nic has a proven record of leading highly effective teams and initiatives that excite and engage audiences. Connect on LinkedIn and on twitter at @nicfish  

Published Thursday, January 04, 2018 7:12 AM by David Marshall
SAP 2018 Predictions: Focused, Automated and Adopted – The Year Ahead in Analytics | SAP Online Portal - (Author's Link) - January 4, 2018 3:07 PM
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