In March, I attended the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit in Orlando, Florida. It was an energetic and interesting event with sessions that focused on topics such as data science and machine learning, building a data-centric architecture, and innovation in data and analytics.
In particular, there were two sessions I attended that highlighted some important trends in enterprise data: “Ford’s Journey and Best Practices for Digital Transformation” and “Data United: Transforming Disparate Data into a Unified Asset” by Johnson & Johnson. Here are the three major trends that I took away from these presentations.
Unstructured Data Continues to Grow
In the presentation by Johnson & Johnson, Elena highlighted that 80% of the company’s data is unstructured, and this will only continue to grow. As we have highlighted previously, organizations are spending too much time on data prep — up to 80% of a data scientist’s time is spent cleaning and preparing data before they can begin their actual work. And enterprises struggle with using traditional approaches such as MDM and ETL, because they are difficult to scale as new data sources with data variety issues are introduced.
Companies No Longer Have IT Projects
A common theme from both the Ford and Johnson & Johnson presentations was that most organizations no longer have strict “IT” projects, but rather are focused on products that require sponsorship from both IT and business owners. New technology implementations are about more than just technology improvements — they need to align to business strategy and drive the overall bottom line. Increasingly, this is requiring a change in philosophy across large enterprises.
Consumer Attitudes are Changing
In today’s world where information is at our fingertips, it’s no surprise that consumer attitudes are changing, and so is how they research, purchase and use products. As younger generations in particular continue to be more and more comfortable with freely sharing data with enterprises, data is a key asset that organizations can leverage to improve the customer experience. Doing so, of course, requires a unified view of the customer using data collected from several points of contact.
Overall, this year’s Gartner Data & Analytics Summit was a great event with a number of key takeaways — particularly when it comes to understanding the importance of clean, unified view of data for the enterprise.