In information technology and in life, challenge often reveals opportunity.
The findings of a 451 Alliance survey on data analytics support this age-old notion. Among other trends related to the attitudes and use of data science within tech-forward organizations, the study showed that the explosion of data within many organizations is both a challenge and an opportunity.
In Matt Aslett’s webinar Evolving Analytics to Thrive amid Data Growth, the Research VP of Data, Artificial Intelligence and Analytics at 451 Research spoke about the knowledge shared by members of the 451 Alliance.
He observed that, while participants expect data volumes to expand by over 28% in the next two years – a test in data management, to be sure – they are embracing that growth as a chance to explore new ways of extracting analytical treasure from those troves of long-neglected information.
The Decline of ‘Dark Data’
“More than half the data under management today…is not used for analytics,” said Aslett, quickly adding that “going forward two years, the expectation is that the volume of data being used for analytics is going to grow over 91%.”
With so-called ‘dark data’ – unanalyzed information – now comprising more than 50% of the total data under management, Aslett noted that survey respondents expect that to shrink in the next two years. By 2022, about 75% of all data coursing through a typical tech-aware organization will be mined for its potential value in driving business and/or IT decisions.
Hail to the Chief Data Officer
Aslett devoted a portion of the presentation to the systemization of data analytics as an IT discipline, discussing the role – in function, if not necessarily in name – of the Chief Data Officer (CDO).
While opining there was nothing particularly new in assigning an individual to analyze and derive knowledge from company data, he noted that the formal incorporation of data analysis at the director or C-level has been gaining traction.
“Not all companies are large enough to justify having a separate CDO,” Aslett said. While only 26% of survey respondents said their organizations had a CDO, larger organizations, as well as those in financial services and retail, were far more likely to have one.
The point, he said, was that the analytics work was bubbling toward the top of the agenda, regardless of the titles of its stewards. “In terms of encouraging that data-driven thinking…it doesn’t necessarily have to be someone with the title of CDO; it doesn’t even have to be a single person.”
Aslett’s observations of the continuing emergence of data science, analytics and AI/ML in the modern organization inform any IT professional aiming to better understand and respond to its customers, flawed internal processes, market trends and other variables.