277263_l_srgb_s_gl2015 was a year of many D’s —Digital, Data Lakes, and Disruption. Data and analytics continue to be a top initiative for both business and IT executives in 2016. Let’s look back and see how well my 2015 predictions fared and how they will play out against my 2016 predictions.

1.  2015 Prediction: Chief Analytics Officers Go Mainstream

  • 2015 Review: Not so much! Most focused on specific areas like customer or risk and have not had true enterprise breadth.

  • 2016 Prediction #1: Chief Digital Officers Join Forces with Chief Analytics Officers.
    • Chief Digital Officers are the new CXO. They’ve emerged in marketing, are working closely with and may even expand into a chief analytics or data officer role. CTOs may also expand their role to include the more technical aspects of the chief digital officer role.


2.  2015 Prediction: Big Data Becomes Real

  • 2015 Review: Kind of, sort of! Saw lots of pilots and also saw emergence of Data Lakes, often creating a lot of “noise” from the potential of data

  • 2016Prediction #2: Big Data Gains Focus
    • Organizations focus on fewer use cases and more truly valued-added data and integrate into daily business operations.


3.  2015 Prediction: Self-Service BI Demand Explodes

  • 2015 Review: And how! Demand expanded in spades, yet organizations are still facing challenges in providing the “right tools for the right users” and even more so, in providing adequate training and support.

  • 2016 Prediction #3: Self-Service BI Gets Needed Training and Support
    • Organizations invest in self-service “communities of interest.”  Power users continue to tutor newbies, while collaboration tools are added to enable more best-practice sharing.  BI Competency Centers invest more in training and support capabilities.


4.  2015 Prediction: Data Management Gets Respect—and Funding

  • 2015 Review: The value of data management gained more visibility, but organizations still aren’t providing adequate time for data stewardship.

  • 2016 Prediction #4: Full Time Data Steward Roles Get Added
    • As digital models and focused data lakes emerge, management recognizes the need for and allocates investment for full-time data steward roles.


5.  2015 Prediction: BI Competency Centers (BICCs) Get Rebooted

  • 2015 Review: Room for improvement! Many BI/analytic organizations are still tactical and technically focused. They have faced user-adoption challenges as well as user tool acquisition and increased data silos, resulting in end-user support and data governance issues.

  • 2016 Prediction #5: BICCs Focus on Better Business Alignment through Data Governance, Training, and Support
    • BI shared services/project management offices expand into BI/Analytics Competency Centers. Special interest groups for self-service BI, predictive, and so on emerge as part of BICCs. Chief digital officers (CDOs) are added as candidates for executive sponsors. Existing BICCs mature their data governance and training and support capabilities, adding new or improving their existing collaboration tools. They add shared-services “data scientist” and business analyst roles augmenting those in lines of business for advanced expertise and enterprise leverage.

What are your 2016 predictions for Analytics?

Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.