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By Natan Pollack

Today we navigate our way across cities, pull up electronic tickets, purchase items, monitor our health, and, of course, stay connected with friends and family on our smartphones. The smartphone is one of those innovations that make us think,  “how did I ever function without it?” Smartphones revolutionized our personal lives, but there’s a megatrend set to disrupt the business world; it’s called augmented analytics.

Augmented analytics is on the cusp of becoming the business world’s next significant evolution.

Gartner identified augmented analytics as to the number 1 top trend for data and analytics technology in 2019, and market leaders are already starting to invest in this burgeoning industry.

SAP recently acquired augmented people analytics company Qualtrics for $8 billion, shelling out a price equivalent to over 20x the company’s current revenue. A newcomer to the game, Denver based startup Nodin raised $5 million in funding this past March, a month before even launching its platform.

The global market for augmented analytics is forecasted to reach $29.86 billion by 2025. But just what is augmented analytics, and what makes it such a hot new trend?

Data or die

According to a recent study by Forbes Insights and Treasure Data, only 13% of companies can be considered “leaders” in leveraging the full potential of their customer data. The full potential of the customer data is significant, as 55% of executives think these insights to be valuable in achieving disruptive innovation.

Companies must now collect, clean, and translate their raw data into insights they can use to build better products and reach target audiences.

In today’s fast-paced business world, data-driven decisions are no longer a nice to have; they’re a necessity to stay competitive and on top of market volatility. To get ahead, significant players from Booking.com to PepsiCo are relying on teams of data analysts to collect, clean, and analyze the surge of data now being generated.

SME’s are also leveraging their data to gain a competitive advantage in a sea of new competitors popping up every day. The problem is that data analysts are not only scarce in number; they’re also costly, especially for SMEs.

Even for companies that do have data scientists on board, the sheer volume of the data we’re now collecting through various platforms and tools means that they spend more of their time on activities like data preparation and visualization, leaving less time for actual analysis.

Augmented analytics harnesses the power of AI and machine learning to automate these tasks and generate insights.

Let’s say you’re an ecommerce store that’s seen a sudden decrease in sales on your Shopify account. To find out why you’d have to comb through your company’s data and find insights by:

  • Logging in to Google Analytics to analyze patterns in your website traffic.
  • Checking out the performance of your social media accounts and ad campaigns.
  • Reassessing your keywords on Google Adwords.
  • Investigating new competitors or changes in the market.

Instead, augmented analytics tools collect and analyze all your data together to identify potential causes and automatically generate reports with actionable insights.

Here are three significant ways augmented analytics will disrupt the business world:

We’re in a data race – the winner takes the money.

With most businesses adopting artificial decision-making capabilities, we’re now in a race to see who can make the faster, better business decisions. Our businesses are like data-guzzling V12 engines that need data to fuel growth. Automating this process, and using augmented analytics to spot growth opportunities in your data, before your competitors, means you win the race.

Gartner believes that by 2020, over 40% of data science tasks will be automated. The automation will allow data scientists to spend less time on repetitive tasks and more time on strategic analysis and decision-making. Not only does it take the manual labor out of their job, but it also does it faster and eliminates the potential for human error.

Bring together the whole picture.

At the moment, most company’s data lives on several different platforms – isolated. Only 34% of executives agreed they have one aggregated view of all their customer data points. Not only is this inefficient, but it also blocks businesses from making informed decisions. We shouldn’t be looking at how each part of the engine works separately but how it all works together.

Having data points integrated into a rapid reporting system, such as Aerialscoop or DataBox, allows you to track the entire customer journey on one platform, all the way from lead generation until earning your first Dollar from the client. It also provides for better cohesion and collaboration across the organization. It’s not just ‘how is my marketing team doing on their KPIs?’ — but how are the marketing team’s results directly impacting my revenue growth and retention rates?

Democratize your data analytics.

Meanwhile, for smaller companies that don’t have the means to hire a team of data scientists (currently the global average salary is $90k), augmented analytics will make data-driven insights accessible to the masses. The accessibility is expected to be a major wave of development for the next five years.

According to Gartner, through 2020, the number of citizen data scientists will grow five times faster than professional data scientists. This means everyone from executives to marketeers will have the power to make data-driven decisions, without having to rely on data science professionals to provide the information they need.

Having the information easily accessible to all opens doors for SME’s to accelerate their growth at an exponential rate across departments. If there was ever a time that smaller, more nimble start-ups were able to pose a real threat to major companies, the democratization of data analytics ought to be the catalyst.

Much like smartphones have become the tool we can’t imagine our lives without, augmented analytics will set a new standard for business growth.

Those who start to leverage this technology early on will reap the benefits that faster, aggregated, and accessible data can bring. Where will your company stand in the data race of the future?

By Natan Pollack

Sourced from readwrite