Leading up to the Analytics Experience conference, we're going to explore the big trends, hot topics and what's ahead in the industry with some of the companies leading the way.
I had the chance to interview David Septoff, CEO of Zencos to get his take on what you need to know about analytics right now.
- What do you think is the most exciting thing in analytics right now?
Analytics has grown and expanded enough recently that almost every organization recognizes the power and value that analytics provides. Companies are working harder to ensure that data governance and data integration don’t create bottlenecks or roadblocks to building useful business intelligence solutions that can create the kind of analytics that management craves. Nearly every recent technological trend points towards getting more data into the hands of more analysts in less time.
All of the trends that seem to be impacting analytics, such as cloud computing, in-memory processing, unconventional data architecture (Hadoop, NoSQL, etc.), Internet of Things, machine learning and artificial intelligence are geared towards maximizing information throughput and ensuring that the time analysts spend is dedicated to critical thinking. Building self-service tools for business savvy users to discover new patterns in data has led to an explosion in the number of analytics projects happening in every corporation every day.
The most exciting part of analytics today is that we--as an industry and as individuals--are no longer hampered by technology. These innovations and developments in technology have empowered analysts to work beyond the speed of human thought.
- What kinds of analytics challenges do you see organizations struggling with?
Most organizations still struggle to prepare their data properly as a prerequisite before they can perform analytics. Whether the primary challenge is data integration, data governance, or other resource or capital constraints, most organizations cannot take advantage of the wealth of information that they’ve already collected.
When an organization is able to gather all of the data necessary for analytics, our focus at Zencos is always to help the organization develop something actionable. Learning new things about data is often enjoyable, but the real power of analytics lies in being able to be part of advocating for organizational improvements.
- What are some of the trends you’re predicting for 2017?
The most intriguing technical innovation may be leveraging GPU chips to process immense data queries in parallel. Leveraging the massively parallel architecture of GPU chips, innovators like MapD and SQream are able to achieve tremendous data processing and throughput without a tremendous expense.
The potential adoption of GPU data processing is very intriguing as most organizations are working to improve access to responsive business analytics through in-memory processing. Both techniques work to give responsive tools that can generate insights and further advance the demand for real-time results in business intelligence solutions.
Increasing adoption of machine learning as a means for data processing and the utilization of other automation tools should also help companies ensure that machines instead of humans complete tedious tasks, which will continue to increase the overall productivity of analysts across the industry.
- There are hundreds of sessions, dozens of demos and a variety of networking opportunities at Analytics Experience. What’s one thing you’re looking forward to taking advantage of at the conference this year?
The selection of sessions and demos at Analytics Experience 2016 is so extensive and comprehensive as to be somewhat overwhelming for attendees to decide which to attend. To be sure, the many opportunities to learn new concepts, techniques and technologies will help all the attendees feel excited to implement all the things they learn. The thing that we are most looking forward to are the unscripted, spontaneous, organic discussions that happen when we get to meet other attendees and share ideas, thoughts and discuss all of our shared interests.
Zencos will be leading a table talk discussion at Analytics Experience on "Being Persuasive with Data." Learn more about their session, and consider joining us for this unique conference experience next month.