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Insight Engines 2020 Predictions: People admit they don't know their data

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual series exclusive.

By Grant Wernick, co-founder & CEO, Insight Engines

People admit they don't know their data

The explosion of data is an understatement. An earlier IDC report, "Data Age 2025" said that the global datasphere will grow from 33 zettabytes in 2018 to 175 by 2025. What are we going to do with all of this data?

2020 is the year that people begin to realize more data isn't necessarily a better thing. We've spent the past few years gorging ourselves at the all-you-can-eat data buffet. With greasy lips, distended belly and shortness of breath, we've hit a tipping point. We cannot carry on as we have. This year is when we start being purposeful about the data we ingest.

So how is our relationship with data going to change?

People realize data isn't the new oil

We've been sold on this idea for so long that it almost seems self-evident. We are hoarding all of the data we can extract because we've been told, like oil, there's an intrinsic value that's readily extractable. We just have to hire some very technical people to figure out how to refine it. But we haven't been dealing with oil. If anything we've been slurping up tar sand, the sludgy deposit of sand, clay, water, and sticky, black bitumen. Tar sand requires a lot of effort to extract, recover, and pre-process to a heavy crude before it can even be sent to conventional refineries. Sound like your data swamp much? 

The data as oil metaphor works great for the log stores and cloud repositories of the world that have been happily selling storage space for all of this crude oil we've been hoarding. But how much value do we really extract from it? Some, but not enough to warrant the current effort.

People question the cost to value their data provides

Now is the perfect storm; everyone is planning to or in the process of migrating to the cloud, most are going to be in a hybrid situation for the foreseeable future, and there are applications being built for everything imaginable. We have to start thinking purposefully about our short and long-term data strategy. What data goes to the cloud? What makes sense to keep on-prem? What legacy applications stay, and what needs to be built with a cloud-first mindset? That huge log store line item on the budget needs to be reflected by the value that the data is adding to the business. 

People get curious about using data

Data is the talk of the town. The word on the street. The cause celebre. Data slogans beacon from billboards and are splashed across busses racing about town. Everyone seems to be in on the data action. Everyone but you. But that's just a marketing facade. The truth is that the only people who truly deal with data are still highly technical. Because this world was built by technical people for technical people. So there still needs to be a translator role between data and non-technical people. But as those in non-technical roles - marketing, HR, finance, sales, etc. - work closer with data scientists and analysts, they will see data in new ways. They will become data curious and want to explore data on their own and take it into their own hands and mold it, shape it, twist it, and shake it, to tell stories with it. The data curious will be the drivers of innovation rather than iteration. 

Security finally becomes more than an afterthought 

As organizations begin their digital transformation and transition from on-premise to cloud services, it will be critical to build security into migration plans from the beginning. This includes understanding the shared responsibility security model with cloud providers in order to manage risks associated with securing business processes and data. This also means companies need greater visibility into their infrastructure to see where gaps in their security exist, along with visibility into the security controls their cloud services providers deploy.


About the Author

Grant Wernick 

Grant Wernick is the co-founder & CEO of Insight Engines. He is an experienced product-focused leader, founding both commercial and enterprise companies over the past decade. He has focused much of that time on building highly technical teams to solve hard search and NLP problems, most recently for cybersecurity. Grant's passion is bringing products to market that give non-technical people the means to naturally explore and interact with data.

Published Tuesday, January 21, 2020 7:24 AM by David Marshall
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