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Four Data Analytics Trends to Watch

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Read more about author Matthew Halliday.

Now that 2021 has come to a close and leadership teams once again look to position their organizations for opportunities and challenges on the horizon, there’s no shortage of questions about what to expect in 2022 and beyond. 

Will technology fix the global supply chain crisis? Will “citizen data analysts” become the most important people who work with data? Will data engineers find new ways to clear bottlenecks in data pipelines? Will retailers unlock SKU-level product profitability?

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I’m always speaking with customers to better understand their vision, goals, wants, and needs over time and how unified data analytics can help. Here are some of the more interesting developments I see coming over the horizon.

Data Engineers Turning to Tech Built for Data Science

Data engineers will start using more AI-based tools built for data scientists in their daily workflow. At first, they will do it out of necessity – data engineering teams desperately looking for ways to get around bottlenecks in their data pipelines. But then they will realize it’s a new pathway to far more interesting and exciting opportunities. 

This shift will fundamentally blur the line between data engineering and Data Science, and we’ll see more and more analytics software vendors building programmatic capabilities into their platforms in an effort to stay relevant.

“Citizen Analysts” Vault onto the Center Stage

In 2022, citizen data analysts will become the most important and impactful individuals who work with data. In addition to their domain expertise and proximity to the business, the availability of new tools and technologies that turn data analysis into a point-and-click experience is making it all possible. 
 
This will lead to an explosion of new ideas and practical applications for data, marking the next big turning point for the industry. After decades of thinking about data analytics in terms of limitations and constraints, we finally turn our attention to the “art of the possible.”

“Just-in-Time” Data Analytics Sets A New Standard

Ongoing waves of supply chain disruptions throughout 2022 will force many companies to fix long-standing data pipeline issues that prevent them from gaining the insights and visibility they need to survive. As the going gets tough, loyalty to legacy systems will fall off a cliff and companies will more openly embrace innovative new solutions in order to make “just-in-time” data analytics a reality for their organization. 
 
This will set a new standard for enterprise data analytics that prioritizes business outcomes, enables the freedom to explore and innovate, and minimizes time to insight.

Retailers Prioritize Product Profitability at the SKU Level

Supply chain issues in 2022 will also force retailers to understand product profitability at the SKU level. With supply chain management becoming more analytically intense, companies need to segment and query complex data on the fly in order to stay competitive. The ones that do it best will gain a massive edge over the competition by reducing inventory costs while improving supply chain and operational efficiencies.
 
This will drive retailers to seek out and discover the power of unified data analytics platforms, which in turn will transform the way companies think about, engage with, and create value with their data.
 
Looking ahead, there’s no telling exactly what will happen in 2022 – but I predict we’ll see more volatility and uncertainty, and that will set the bar for data analytics. Keep an eye on this space. 

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