16 Trends Reshaping the Enterprise Data Landscape in 2016

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5-Data Democracy Will Finally Take Root

After years of speculation and discussion, the idea of analytics spread across the organization is materializing—and the potential for innovation is vast. “The democratization of data provides a unique opportunity to each organization to discover internal value or areas ripe for innovation intervention,” says Geovanie Marquez, scalability architect for Wellcentive, a provider of health management and data analytics solutions. “Imagine where essentially everyone in your organization can look at the same data but bring their own inherent curiosities and experiences. At the very least it creates pockets of rich conversations and at the most it gives the business the information it was missing to disrupt its market.” 

Ultimately, data democracy will reshape the enterprise, and this will become more apparent in the year ahead. “Front-line or operational employees will not only have the information that they need but they’ll also be empowered to make fact-based decisions,” said Rado Kotorov, global vice president and chief innovation officer at Information Builders, a provider of business intelligence software. “Using decision-support apps, in under 3 minutes, operational users can access the facts they need to capture opportunities or eliminate errors. The results? Organizations using this model will begin to see an increase in productivity and a decrease in errors as employees are given easy access to facts.”

6-The Internet of Things—The Hot New Frontier

With the opening of IoT, data will be flowing in from more and more places. “Everyone, everything, is quickly becoming a sensor,” said Gayle Sheppard, CEO of Saffron, which offers a cognitive computing platform. “As more and more physical products converge with sensors and embedded software, information will be captured from sources that in the past were unavailable. Medical devices, watches, cars, shoes—these are all sources of information about us, for us.”

Scott Gnau, chief technology officer for Hadoop distribution provider Hortonworks, takes it a step further, calling this the “Internet of Anything,” or IoAT. IoAT “continues to grow, increasing the volume of data generated every day,” he pointed out. The IoAT also reverses conventional thinking about data flows, Gnau added. “Traditionally, data flows are routed in one direction, from source systems to target systems, with some level of transformation or processing along the way. In the IoAT world, data flows are bi-directional and point to point. This means that data will be sent in but also will require data be sent back out or in some instances, sensors may even need to talk to each other.”

7-“Event Storms” will Challenge Data Systems

“The velocity component in IoT is very important and most applications require quick responses in the area of seconds or less,” said Bart Schouw, director of IBO Solutions at enterprise software company Software AG. “At the same time, the volume of data is exploding, where you get event storms from the thing hitting your data systems. Also, complexity is accelerating. Not only are the authorization structures becoming very complex with IoT, they tend to change a lot too. Next to authorization there is an ongoing pressure to give the business real time analytics on the things. In order to do this, streaming analytics components have to be added in-line of the data processing architectures.”

8-More App Stores for Enterprise Operations Will Pop Up

Big data has great potential, but employees need the flexibility to select apps that can help them convert this data into insights. “We have been focused on extracting more insights from big data, but we have not asked how we can integrate those insights into operations, where money is made,” said Kotorov. “The most disruptive enterprise data trend we’ll see in the year ahead is the development of apps that are used by operational employees to support decisions on the job. We’ll likely also see the development of app stores specifically for operational employees.”

9-More Algorithmic Decision Making, Greater Data Automation

There will be increasing instances of full automation to make business decisions. This will “ultimately become another disruptive trend in the years ahead,” said Kotorov. “Moving forward, companies have to strategize around how their profits and margins will adjust in a world of algorithmic decision making. That is not going to happen next year, but will be a reality in 5 years. We’re already seeing algorithmic retail sales in the form of flash sales.”

In addition, the rise in automation for data processing and analytics will continue. “Automation has already begun to transform data management in the enterprise by eliminating manual processes and the need for human intervention,” said Abdul Razack, senior vice president and head of big data and analytics at the IT consultancy Infosys. “With automation, companies can analyze data in real time and spot anomalies with greater accuracy and at a faster rate.”

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