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Data analytics trends of 2018 – what you need to know
March 9, 2018 Blog


by Johannes Sundén, Regional Presales Manager, Qlik

Many successful companies today have found their own ways of connecting data, people, and ideas. Here’s two trends I see in the horizon:

The rise of third party data

Gone are the days of the monolithic data warehouse or lake trying to store all the organisation’s data assets!

Data is coming at analysts from every direction. Traditional data warehouses, data lakes, line of business systems and an ever-increasing number of external data sources providing practical context to the analysis being performed.

Traditionally most data used for business intelligence was expected to be of very high quality and having undergone costly, time consuming, cleaning and organisation to provide an easy to query set of information answering a set of predetermined business questions. This type of traditional business intelligence is valuable but has become commoditised and is an expected fundamental of any organisation today.

The tide has turned with Gartner predicting that by 2019, 75% of analytics solutions will incorporate 10 or more external data sources from second-party partners or third-party providers and a survey by Forrester showed that in order to achieve their business priorities, 81% of decision-makers want to supplement their own data with external data. We’re seeing more and more that the value of data is in the combinations of data – both big and small data – that come from multiple sources. It’s almost intuitive that the more context you have, the better the decisions you can make.

Data literacy starts now

At the same time, data literacy is being recognised as a key base skill in universities and a wide range of corporations. A recent research study by Qlik found that despite the fact that a majority (71%) of workers in APAC use data once a week (or more) in their current job roles, only 1 in 5 workers in APAC are data literate. On the bright side, Gartner predicts 80% of organisations will work to increase data literacy across their workforces by 2020.

As information workers improve their data literacy skills – or their ability to read, work with, analyse and argue with data – they are better equipped to take on more challenging data and information sources than that from just the traditional warehouses. With a clear company understanding of the information quality of the data assets, information workers can be proficient enough to access a wider variety of sources that may be only partially managed or even unmanaged to a large degree, like social media information. This allows people to access a wider range of information sources than an organisation can ever keep up with from a data silo perspective and can result in important findings helping organisations save cost or create new revenue opportunities.

To harness these wide combinations of data sources we need to be better at understanding how to make sense of it all – combined with better and more intuitive tools to help guide our data decisions with built in insights. These are areas that will be explored further in upcoming posts.