1. The rise of the chief analytics officer – Many companies have folded oversight of analytics initiatives into the responsibilities of existing executives—most often division heads, CFOs, or CIOs, according to a 2013 survey from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. In some cases, combining analytics with other functions has worked well. In other cases, analytics efforts have been buried under those executives’ myriad other priorities.
To give analytics the attention it merits, some companies have appointed chief analytics (or big data) officers in recent years. Today, a growing number of companies have dedicated chief analytics officers charged with leading the effort to derive new insights, products, and services from expanding troves of data.
2. The data scientist shortage – It’s no wonder some companies are having such a difficult time recruiting data scientists. The role of a data scientist traditionally calls for someone trained in math and statistics, who understands the business, knows how to design and test predictive models, can manipulate raw data, and can use that data to tell compelling stories. Some companies are addressing the talent shortage by creating teams made up of professionals with different strengths and skills, rather than trying to find that one elusive data scientist.
3. Big Data Will Transition From Hype to Actionable Insights – Big data pundits have long been touting the technology as the Holy Grail companies need to more effectively manage their supply chains, understand their customers and control their resources. Yet, this year the hype began to wear off as companies struggled to derive value from their strategies. Companies will re-focus strategies and processes and hit their stride due to greater maturity of technology tools and skills.
4. More Companies Will Implement Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics – In 2014, more companies will implement machine learning technologies, including semi-automated development of predictive and prescriptive models to increase productivity.
Although big data may have felt like a hyped technology for the past few years, the difference in 2014 is that companies will now use this information in practical and profitable ways. Expect to see big data applications accelerating and thriving when it comes to delivering actionable insights.