Computers and Technology

Data Onboarding in 2021, 5 Predictions

In the last decade or so, it had become increasingly clear that organizations that have welcomed digital transformation are more likely to survive — even thrive — compared to organizations that are hesitant to make the transition.  

Many were still not convinced. Then the pandemic happened.  

Nothing and everything changed.  

The global workforce made a seamless transition from working at their desks in their office to working at their desks in their kitchen. As if nothing happened. But a global catastrophe made businesses re-think everything about how a business ought to be run. At the center of this re-thinking was data — the most valuable commodity of today’s economy.  

Going forward, data is going to be critical to business success, that is certain. But is today’s data management ready for the new normal? Can the infrastructure keep up with the ever-advancing times? What about data security? 

Big changes are on the way. Here’s what we expect.  

Technical know-how wouldn’t be necessary 

There is no question that business intelligence solutions provide businesses with a staggering competitive gain. However, many businesses fail to integrate them in their workflows, given their steep learning curve.  

Inertia or the reluctance to change is a deterrent to learning any new habit. But what if the habit offers the least resistance?  

This is what we expect will happen to data onboarding and management. On one side, data literacy is increasing exponentially. While on the other, BI tools are becoming more accessible and easymore accessible and easier to use.  

Data is for everyone 

And as business intelligence tools become more accessible and easymore accessible and easier to use, data analytics becomes democratized.  

Just like the power of data analytics is leveraged to forecast the weather, businesses will leverage it to forecast sales, conducting and sales analytics. They will anticipate the expectations and needs of customers with customer analytics. And for benchmarking with competitor analytics.

Investments in infrastructure 

What’s the most exciting thing about data being for everyone is that the analytics of one vertical will inform the decision-making of others. Insights learned from sales analytics are as crucial to marketing as the insights learned from customer analytics are to sales 

However, this exchange of data is most productive when it is seamless. And to ensure that, businesses are expected to heavily invest in data governance, the infrastructure that governs the flow and quality of data.  

Data governance ensures that the exchange of data between processes — which is expected to be more frequent, cross-linked, and complex — is as efficient as possible. Bottlenecks cost money. Bottlenecks, at scale, cost a lot of money.  

Adoption is slower than innovation 

A trend that is clear, and is expected to continue, is that the rate of adopting new technologies is slower than the rate at which those technologies are invented. Adoption is slower than innovation.  

The problem is not new. What is new is the rate at which innovation is happening. It is frightening.  

Still, the privileged and powerful few will be able to adapt quickly and keep the gap at a minimum. The rest, however, especially the slowest, will lag and may suffer immense losses, in losing their competitive edge.  

To bridge this gap, adoption ought to be quick, easy, and cheap.   

Faster and more secure business intelligence tools 

The innovations happening at a frightening pace will widen the scope of BI tools, making them more capable of automating complex tasks and more accurate at forecasting trends.  

However, given the public backlash against the ill-use of their data, privacy, and security, will take center stage in 2021.  

Ultimately, businesses are expected to make changes that protect them against future risks. Perhaps another pandemic. And data is going to be at the heart of them.  

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