In 2014, I recognized something was a bit off with all the big data excitement, and I started interviewing companies to get to the bottom of it.
In 2015, Ted Schadler and I published the first of my ideas in the report "Digital insights are the new currency of business". In that report, we pointed out what was wrong: big data only focused on how to turn more data into more insight. It didn't say anything about how to turn that insight into more action. In that report we defined a system of insight, which focused big data energy on implementing insights in software using closed loops that create action and continuous learning.
In this year's "Top emerging technologies to watch" report, we evaluated systems of insight technologies that were creating the most change, and we found many. For example:
- Insight platforms: Data management and analytics are not separate technologies anymore. Open source and cloud have made it so easy for vendors to combine these technologies into a platform -- but things don't stop there. Add insight-to-execution technologies, like predictive model runtimes, and you get a platform that is ideal for building closed-loop systems of insight. Our latest vendor and user surveys indicate that insight platforms are hot, hot. Expect to see more data and analytics tools merge into platforms this year.
- Customer journey analytics: Customers view every touchpoint with your company as just that -- your company, not silos. Unfortunately, back of house software doesn't always think that way. Journey analytics will weave together every touchpoint a customer interacts with to dismantle product, brand, and geographic silos. This will give you the ability to predict behavior at every touchpoint, no matter where the customer engaged with you last.
- Internet of Things (IoT) analytics: Connected devices spew out a colossal amount of data in specialized formats. These must be matched up with configuration, context, and customer data to be useful. IoT analytics tools will mature over the next few years, allowing for real time, contextual customer engagement. Product data on usage and maintenance will also feed back into product design, creating a closed-loop responsive and iterative design process.
Brian Hopkins is VP and principal analyst at Forrester, serving enterprise architecture professionals. Follow Brian on Twitter: @practicingEA