Posted by  Charles Clark  Published on  6 Jan 2014
  • Data Strategy

It’s at this time of year that the focus for organizations turns to the year ahead and exactly what their priorities should be – and just how to turn goals into reality. In the first of a series, we give you Rosslyn’s predictions for key data management and analytics trends in 2014.

2014 will see the data momentum continue with no let-up in its volume and complexity. This year, data will move to the center of the business agenda, and data quality will be a key focus to provide a solid foundation for analytics ready data.

Emphasis on Data Quality

Data quality will be high on the business agenda this year, with the increasing realization that bad data will result in bad analytics: Harvard Business Review found that “84% of business executives question the accuracy and quality of most of the data underlying their business decisions.” This shows that there is still quite some way to go before data is truly trusted in an organization. In order for this trust to increase, there needs to be consideration of how to effectively implement data quality initiatives, and how they will integrate with other data integration and analytics programs already in place.

Increased Data Volumes

As data volumes increase exponentially, quality is coming to the forefront. Improving data quality will move higher up the corporate agenda in 2014, as data must be analytics ready – integrated, cleansed and enriched – prior to analysis. At Rosslyn, we’ve found that the key is for organizations to have a plan in place to deal with this increasing influx, so that there are no users who can feel overwhelmed by incoming data (65% according to an IDG Enterprise Big Data Survey), and that this volume of data can be used for the biggest benefit – by effectively integrating the data, cleansing and enriching it.

Complex But Consumable

Organizations will increasingly understand that data by its nature is complex, but that there is also the need for analytics to be consumable (and accessible) by business users. In 2014, emphasis will be placed on these twin drivers, and put vendors under pressure to deliver the best of both worlds. The most effective way to achieve this is to make the most of cloud-based solutions – providing organizations with an effective way to manage and integrate the data, but also for users to be able to slice-and-dice data the way they need – all through a single data management and analytics platform.

Business Value of Data

Traditionally, Business Intelligence (BI) solutions haven’t delivered value to organizations. Concrete value will be critical for organizations in 2014, as they will look towards fast, flexible and powerful solutions that add tangible value across business units and provide access to the metrics needed to achieve their goals. According to recent Gartner research, 71% of respondents understand the KPIs needed to support business strategy, however we’ve found in conversations with clients and prospects, that the biggest issue for businesses is how to access the data for these metrics, and subsequently use the data to provide tangible value for the business.

Collaboration is Key

The gap between IT and the rest of the organization is no longer sustainable if analytics is to be successfully implemented and used. In 2014, every effort must be made to bridge the gap between business and IT – with 48% of organizations expecting big data usage to be widespread across the business in three years (IDG Enterprise Big Data Survey), the only way this penetration can be successfully achieved is for the burden of implementation, integration and management to be lifted from IT. Failure to address these issues will mean that organizations will experience increasing divides.

The Day After Tomorrow

Organizations must keep one eye on the road ahead. While there is a need for true and accurate data today, in 2014, thought will have to be given as to how this data will be kept current and refreshed on an ongoing basis (58% list the biggest impediment to information management as being the inability to access relevant, timely or reliable data - Information Week). We’ve found that the easiest way for businesses to address this issue is for data updates to be a core part of the implemented analytics platforms as a whole, and ensure that this updated data continues to go through a process of cleansing and enrichment.

In the next part of our series on 2014 data management and analytics trends and predictions, we will be looking at the future of analytics and data governance as well as the impact the current business climate may well have on budgets and analytics implementations.