Day one of the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit was packed with sessions and vendors of all sizes who are offering software products to help data scientists do less programming and more analysis. The consistent theme of the first day of the conference came down to three key takeaways:
Key Takeaway #1: Advanced Data Analytics is Just Getting Going
While there is a ton of buzz about the promise of advanced data analytics, the analysts were consistent in their assessment that the industry is still in its infancy. One key stat that stuck out was that it’s estimated that 70% of the work involved in applying machine learning algorithms revolves around data preparation. A new class of software applications called Augmented Analytics is coming to market with the aim to automate data preparation to speed up the process of analysis. As any data scientist will tell you, the biggest hurdle to analysis is getting the data prepped in a way that creates a complete set so that you can then slice and dice as you see fit. Companies like DataRobot, ClearStory Data and Paxata are bringing new tools to market to help automate the messy stage of data prep that everyone likes to gloss over, but is the key to good data science.
Key Takeaway #2: Artificial Intelligence is Accelerating in Adoption
Gartner cited that 10 years ago AI was known as a sci-fi movie (and even old then), but that in the last 10 years, AI is starting to crop up everywhere. With more and more availability of AI, it is being plugged into applications to help accelerate product adoption, product longevity, increase safety and more. In fact, once you start thinking from the digital transformation viewpoint which centers on the customer, it’s hard not to start brimming with ideas for where AI could add value in either obtaining needed information from the consumer to allow the product to perform better or sending information that would be useful to help the consumer perform better. This two-way communication between entity-to-consumer holds so many possibilities that product innovation is anticipated to exponentially soar as devices and applications get re-wired from an AI framework.
Key Takeaway #3: Innovate or Consolidate
With the need for agile development and time to market being critical elements of market success, the pressure for companies to innovate is intense. The market share of the usual giants of IBM, Microsoft and Oracle are under constant attack from smaller competitors that are faster to market with innovative new products. With such disruption in the marketplace, Gartner anticipates that there will be a wave of new start-ups, but that consolidation is inevitable and larger conglomerates will emerge.