2016 Predictions – 4 Ways Big Data & Analytics Will Impact Every Business

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It’s hard to believe that 2016—the year that marks Talend’s 10-year anniversary—is right around the corner. If our society and businesses were ruled by the predictions of the film industry, we’d all have flying cars and drones walking our dogs…. Granted, while we’ve made great progress in terms of fuel- efficient, electric vehicles, we’re still not flying. That said, more immediately, there are definitely a few emerging technologies that will have a profound impact on businesses and society at large in 2016. Here are a few of my ‘bets’:

Real-time Analytics Will Take Center Stage

Among all the technological innovations emerging, real-time big data analytics will absolutely be the most disruptive force in 2016. This type of instantly-actionable insight vs. rear-view mirror data analysis is no longer just an option—it’s a necessity—particularly given the pace at which we move both as consumers and businesses. We want relevant, personalized information now!  Luckily this type of data integration and processing power is no longer only available to the ‘behemoth’ cloud vendors— the likes of Netflix, Google or Amazon—it’s becoming mainstream. In 2016, companies of all sizes across all industries will be able to embrace opportunities that were previously unimaginable, such as improving patient care, increasing crop yields in order to feed the world and, overall, to make more informed business decisions.

New Threats Will Emerge from Unforeseen Areas, Increasing the Need Increased Customer Focus

In the age of real-time big data previously unattainable opportunities will finally become tangible, new business challenges will also emerge. Tremendous competitive threats will establish themselves – and the biggest threats can now come from outside an organization’s core industry—i.e. even organizations that weren’t event tangentially related to your business and those that you never would imagine would compete in your space will start infringing on your market share.  So companies need to be able to analyze data, anticipate these emerging threats and devise ways to not only combat them, but also re-evaluate and re-invigorate their customer engagement process in order to retain customer loyalty.

For years, businesses have been working on becoming more customer centric. However for the most part their customers never see the payoff from those investments, and in today’s real-time big data age, when it comes to customer experience, ‘good’ is no longer enough. With the arrival of new real-time big data technologies in 2016, more companies will be able to actually impact the customer experience where it matters most – in the moment. Businesses will be able to leverage technology to deliver personalized information, incentives and service that add to a better overall customer experience. Treating the everyday consumer as though they are ‘a celebrity’ is something every business owner should strive to achieve and with the application of real-time big data, now, for the first time, customers will notice the difference.

CIO Turnover Will Accelerate

The gap between winning and losing CIOs will widen dramatically in 2016. Those that have been pioneering the move to the cloud and big data will move from pilots to production and will generate game-changing insights for the business. Those that have not will be exposed and pushed out as their companies fall behind their competition. Organizations that have already built their big data platform will have a dramatic head start in the 2016 big data sprint. With the advent of Spark and Spark streaming, they’ll be able to unlock the true potential of their investments in building data lakes and warehouses on Hadoop. Big data pioneers will see their investments pay off in 2016, and the gap between winning and losing CIOs will widen dramatically. 

As this gap widens, the demand for CIO talent will heighten – starting a CIO talent war with the weak being exposed and the strong being snatched up. At Talend Connect, we recognized exemplary organizations who are entering 2016 at the forefront of innovative data integration. These leaders used new ways to channel ever-growing volumes of data into actionable information that is not only improving their businesses, but in many instances, also benefiting the broader population. Luckily for those that are feeling behind the eight-ball, there are now data integration technologies available that make it easy to deploy Spark capabilities quickly—meaning you still have the opportunity to catch up.

Businesses will retool 

Now that we’ve identified real-time big data as the game-changing technology that will have a profound impact in 2016 and discussed the consequences of not keeping up, it’s time to address how businesses can ensure that they stay ahead of the curve.

The age of big data is causing businesses to rethink their organizational structures. Real-time big data is breaking down the barriers of traditional business best practices and structures – and the dynamic of "Business vs. IT" will give way to a new dynamic of "Business + IT = Innovation Powerhouse.” The companies that will win are those that figure out how business and IT can partner and succeed. Cross-functional centers of innovation must emerge – lead by CEOs, CIOs, CDOs and new Chief Marketing Technology Officers (CMTOs) working together to merge their skillsets. These information SWAT teams will be able to turn insight into revenue and drive inroads into new markets never before thought possible, while remaining compliant with all security and privacy regulations. Silos must be broken down within company walls to take real-time big data to the next level in 2016 and make it a year of success for YOUR organization.

Looking forward to the year ahead and the innovations to come!

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