analytics_dreamstime_xs_20957164From an analytics perspective, 2015 has already been an interesting year. Self-service BI, for example, has reached maturity, and the simplification of BI tools finally has the momentum the market is so eager for. But we haven’t finished yet and the second half of the year promises some major trends being kicked into our analytics space. And will these trends affect each other – yes, they will! Join me as I highlight a few of these upcoming analytics trends.

Social Analytics Becomes a Competitive Differentiator

Tracking conversations on social platforms provides organizations insight into when topics start trending or decline in trending. As customers influence other customers more and more via the social platforms, then analyzing these platforms becomes a necessity to stay healthy in business. A recent TDWI study noted that customer analytics, seasoned with insight from social media data, can enable organizations to make faster strides in predicting retention, attrition, and return rates, with the goal of reducing customer churn. In addition, analytics improve how organizations decide on characteristics for customer segmentation. Social media can provide patterns to reflect emerging characteristics to define new segments. Organizations can employ predictive modeling to test and learn from campaigns so that they’re able to select the most persuasive offers to put in front of the right customers, at the right time.

Embedding Analytics Across the Organization

Gone are the days when our data analysts were people residing in BI Competency Centers or information technology departments. Today’s analyst could be anybody working in a logistics, financial or marketing department. Simplification, high performance of in-memory platforms, and self-service BI, all make BI way more accessible for end users. And organizations now recognize this trend and are massively starting to provide their users with information and access to BI. Cloud also helps us to easily access our data anywhere, from any device.

Big Data is Here, There and Everywhere

Hadoop .. MongoDb .. Cloudera ….. they’re all dazzling around us, and boy are they important in getting a grip on the market’s need for online analyses of, and response to, large volumes of structured and unstructured data. At the recent BA4ALL Summit on Big Data and Analytics it was remarkable to see how many Big Data initiatives are being started in the European market. I intentionally mentioned “initiatives” and not “ideas”. Organizations are actually starting Big Data projects and operationalizing them quickly. Driven by the need for more agile and quicker market responses using more complex data structures, companies are starting this decade’s digitization journey.

Your Meeting Will Never be the Same

My meeting what .. ? Yes, your meeting will never be the same again. Due to self-service BI capabilities and especially their accompanying story telling techniques, communications with static reports will change into dynamic dashboard conversations. You’ll use BI story telling in meetings to amplify your conclusions. You‘ll be able to instantly simulate and predict with analytics while having discussions with your colleagues, and you’ll have access to all relevant data using mobile BI apps. Meeting outcomes will seriously benefit from the more constructive and adequate insights that you can get from new analytical tools. Have a look at this video showing you some examples of the boardroom we already use at SAP.

Integration of Almost Everything

Current in-memory platforms and business applications have analytics embedded more and more into their environments. An important driver behind this trend is the required capability for business applications to immediately provide analytics on the fly. Order entry, stock management, or customer intelligence, none of these can do without instant simulation, predictive forecasting, or cause-and-effect analyses – all on the fly. This requires business applications to have analytical capabilities embedded. And major companies like SAP are already trending in this market.

What trends are you seeing for the second half of 2015?

Do I see more trends for the upcoming six months? Oh yes! On a more technical level we see that interactivity in the self-service tools becoming a standard. The almost daily changing variety in sources requires users to permanently search for data-correlations. Therefore they need to interact with the visualizations they create. In line with that we see a trend where the same tools need to allow for data blending. Unstructured sources can’t always be joined in the “classical” way, so we need blending techniques to integrate the data. Lastly we see an even bigger need for predictive capabilities as users receive more and more “new” data. If you’re interested in all this, I’ll do a deeper dive in my next blog.

Learn more about SAP solutions for:
Predictive analytics
In-memory platforms

Follow me on Twitter @ivervandezand.