by Analytics Insight
Apr 1, 2022
These data trends will drive industries to revolutionize business
If we’ve learned anything from the events of the past two years, it’s that it can be incredibly difficult to predict what the future holds. But we know that data is the only constant, reliable way forward.
Data plays an important role in identifying ways we can improve our communities, our businesses and our world. Organizations using trusted data are well positioned to navigate change and prepare themselves for future success.
We will focus on the five data trends that will shape businesses this year in terms of artificial intelligence, workforce development, data ethics as a framework, flexible governance and data equality.
1. Artificial intelligence: AI amplifies and enhances human expertise
We are living in a golden age of data and technology – and there is no sign of it slowing down. Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is getting better: machine learning (ML) models process trillions of lines of data, improvements in natural language processing (NLP) are moving toward understanding human intent, and algorithms are getting faster. We see simpler, repetitive tasks being automated, opening up new opportunities to empower people to do what they do best: reason critically and understand data in context.
Business and IT leaders believe that investing in data and AI over the next 5 years is critical to the future survival of their businesses. The International Data Corporation (IDC) has forecast that by 2026, 60% of enterprises in India will combine human expertise with artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing and pattern recognition to drive business outcomes.
Cloud computing has made AI more affordable and accessible, leading to greater innovation across experiences and sectors. We will see solutions that combine different AI techniques to achieve better results (also known as composite AI) are added to support people.
2. Ethics: formalizing ethical data and using AI is becoming a necessity for organizations
Now, more than ever, trust and transparency must be the foundation for innovation, growth and customer relationships.
As organizations meet their ethical use responsibilities, we expect to see more transparent AI and machine learning solutions and experiences that increase human judgment and expertise. They will also directly relate to business goals and workflows, mitigating related risks with explainability, including bias. Organizations will start tackling biased algorithms and data sets that can harm real people and cause errors with negative, downstream risks such as “ethical debt” as well as technical debt.
We will witness increased commitment and responsibility from businesses and governments to ethical, responsible data and AI use. Closer to home, the Indian government’s policy thinks Tank NITI Aayog and the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution have jointly designed an ethical framework to ensure the responsible use of AI in both the public and private sectors.
3. Workforce Development: Competing organizations recognize that empowering the workforce is more than just training in data skills and tools
The world is becoming increasingly data-driven, creating a global demand for data skills. In a market where data is the ultimate differentiator, data literacy is key to unlocking the value of investments in data and technology. Equally important is a data culture. Organizations have recognized the need to foster a shared culture and mindset that values and applies the use of data. As organizations invest in developing people to upskill their workforce, they will partner with outside organizations to train and upskill.
Data skills will be necessary for every role and in every sector of the workforce.
4. Agile Governance: Organizations are Adopting More Inclusive Approaches to Data Governance to Stay Competitive and Compliant
Data isn’t just the commitment to business success in 2022: data is the business.
As organizations invest in innovative AI solutions and everything in the cloud, the demand for self-service and data sharing capabilities, in addition to data privacy and usage regulations, has grown.
Organizations must adopt a new approach to data governance and management that combines flexibility and empowerment with coordinated control. To innovate, compete and stay ahead of governance and security requirements, successful organizations will adopt federated data governance techniques. Such an approach, which links centrally defined governance standards with local domain authorities, allows organizations to tap into different areas of expertise by including more diverse users across the company.
5. Data Equity will emerge as a framework for improving the dialogue between people and institutions
Data is a powerful agent for change. But not all members of society benefit equally from that power.
To make data solutions relevant, effective and sustainable, they must be designed in collaboration with the communities they are intended to represent and support. By changing dynamics, data helps people and organizations tackle the complex, nuanced problems that matter most to them.
Country-level decision-makers and health authorities need data — and better use of that data — to improve health system resilience and response to health emergencies like COVID-19. Organizations such as PATH, a global health nonprofit with a presence in India, saw an opportunity to advance health equity by creating rich dashboards to give decision-makers quick access to key data on development, delivery, regulatory approvals and performance of COVID -19 diagnostic tests, to ensure products find their way to the right end-users in low- and middle-income countries.
Now we see more nonprofits, organizers and community workers seeing and using data as a strategic asset, building data cultures and becoming more and more data literate
Democratizing data — not just making it available, but making it approachable by unlocking it from behind the barrier of data science expertise — helps organizations that may have been reluctant to add data and analytics to their advocacy. And as some nonprofits and community organizers see their data protection efforts having a truly positive impact on the lives of the people they fight for, we’re starting to feel a tidal wave of others asking, “What can are we doing here, in our community and with our data, making a difference?”
And so global communities like TheSDGVizProject are bringing together the power of data and visualizations to raise awareness, inspire action and promote the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Better data and using data equality as a framework helps people start or reframe conversations, which has beneficial downstream effects on funding requests and policy changes. And it allows community stakeholders to interact directly with their governments and other institutions of power on a more equal level.
Data will continue to be an even more important component for finding stability, growth and a force for social well-being. The ability to make decisions based on data will also be a required skill set to build knowledge workers of the future. The potential impact of data will only grow as more automation, AI and forecasting models help us better predict and prepare for what lies ahead. Even in a crisis, those who have taken the initiative to shift to a digital-first mindset, driven by data, are better prepared for what comes next.
Prashant Momaya, Senior Director, Solution Engineering, Tableau India