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Four Disruptive Forces—Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud—Reshape Data Environments

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That’s not the end of the story, Rangan continued. “This is where data science comes in, giving sales managers a new window into the sales funnel and how deals are tracking in the system,” he explained. “Data science algorithms have the ability to convert the raw data into powerful visualizations that help sales managers track deal progress and identify where they are exposed. This provides them with more accurate, up-to-date deal status and forecasts, allowing them to plan for the quarter, mitigate risk, and meet quarterly goals. In addition, the same key insights on upcoming deals are available for sales reps, helping them focus on the most worthwhile target customers.”

Already, mobile BI apps are starting to take the place of desktop apps, said Probstein. “The end user who is today sitting at a laptop using a dashboard or report is already obsolete,” he said. “The people who really need this information are moving in the field, and talking to customers. They will have variable internet access and security—but they still need information of the right kind, at the right time—and delivered the right way.”

Data Analytics is a Source of Disruption

Because it’s so directly tied to everything a data manager does, data analytics is a key source of disruption in the data management space. “New tools and technologies are making it easier for end users to quickly get insights into the business to make critical decisions,” said SWC’s Narel.“New players have come to market with dashboard, reporting, and advanced visualization tools. Advances in mapping capabilities help customers see aspects of their business across the globe and drill down to local levels; even layering additional public data such as median household income to make decisions about new business initiatives, marketing spend or product placement.”

Some vendors now embed predictive analytics within their solutions, Narel said. “More companies are trying to get their hands around how to leverage predictive analytics for a competitive advantage without having to hire a data scientist.”

At the same time, the power of data management is being brought closer to data consumers. Expect to see an even greater variety of packaged analytic applications, data discovery, and advanced visualization solutions that increasingly make BI accessible to decision makers, said Sanjay Joshi, senior vice president and global practice head for BI and PM at Tech Mahindra. “This is all leading to the democratization of BI in the organization.”

Data analytics has moved from being a “time-consuming linear system built on standard software reporting packages” to a “more intelligent platform following a 360-degree data collection approach,” said Durjoy Patranabish, senior vice president for Blueocean Market Intelligence. “This has helped in developing flexible, interactive, and enhanced interfaces for reporting and analysis using real-time data. With BI reporting, data can be used to tell a story to represent complex information using charts, graphs, and maps. It will give the business users a meaningful picture of the complex data using intuitive new-age BI tools, which in turn impact enterprise level decision making.”

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