Data management and big data have been business buzz words for several years now.
From GDPR and multi-cloud to the proliferation of personalisation and the opportunities presented by the connected world – data in all its guises remains a priority for many businesses.
This latest blog post looks at the top five data trends dominating 2019 plus what’s in store for the coming years. Want to improve your data management? Here’s where to start.
Trend one: living in a connected world
It’s not hard to imagine a world where every vehicle, home appliance, entertainment system, light switch, shopping list and even items of clothing will be connected to the internet. And therefore, connected to the places where we work, rest and play.
It’s estimated that the average person now uses three smart devices on a daily basis. Wearable technology has already infiltrated everyday life through the internet of things (IoT), without us even noticing that our own personal big data is being monitored by someone, somewhere.
In the automotive sector, the IoT is having a big impact on both vehicle development and design and the operation of business fleets. Manufacturers’ vehicles with line fitted connectivity, for example, are now rolling off the production line WEBFLEET and NEXTFLEET ready. From a fleet management perspective, the owners of these vehicles can then access Webfleet’ applications, helping boost the efficiency, productivity and safety of their operations.
In recent times, developments in connectivity have enabled businesses to benefit from the integration of vehicle-related data from open telematics platforms with a variety of different software systems and mobile hardware. This has led to a seismic shift towards automated, end-to-end, processes.
Not only will the connected car of the future be self-driving, but it will be self-diagnosing its own maintenance needs, transmitting data about faults and ordering parts without us even having to go online or ‘pick up’ a phone.
We are already seeing specialist Webfleet’ connected car technicians being able to harmonise vehicle data for users from across multiple manufacturers using after-market solutions or OEM APIs.
The future of automotive connectivity? Well it may not be long before cars instinctively offer seamless travel through voice recognition, while diagnosing illness through sensors embedded in the seats and sharing findings with your GP. And when drivers get home, their lights will be on, the heating set to a perfect temperature and the fridge will be full – without them having to lift a finger.
Trend two: making it personal
Personalisation is proven to increase customer loyalty and drive more sales. Forward-thinking organisations that aren’t already being driven by data analytics will swiftly move to platforms that allow them to receive and deliver highly tailored and personalised communications and experiences with greater speed and reliability.
Platforms that provide accurate results and reports with real-time insights and 360-degree customer views will become the norm in planning, forecasting and business operational efficiency.
Research has found that 80 per cent1 of consumers are more likely to do business with companies that offer personalised experiences – but this is only possible with data management systems that have accurate, secure and flexible analytics capabilities. It stands to reason that untargeted and generic communications often go unseen, unused and undervalued.
Integral to one-to-one dialogue is technology that embraces geospatial data such as addresses, map routes, geotagged tweets, store locations or even weather reports.
For example, a logistics company may use geospatial data to organise their supply chain and share updates pertaining to the status of their fleets or a retailer could predict geographic sales results and replenishment requirements based on weather forecasts.
We can expect geospatial data to become more and more refined – we have seen this evolving trend illustrated, for example, with smart data convergence in the vehicle telematics space.
In a wider business intelligence context, personalisation and geospatial data are sure to deliver improved decision-making across the board, driving new revenue opportunities and a more accurate view of a company’s future.
Trend three: safe in the cloud
Data is one of the most valuable assets a company owns. It facilitates deeper analysis, better relationships with customers and smarter decision-making. But data breaches and data theft are now as commonplace as they are costly. Business need to be smart about managing the mass volume of data coming from diverse sources and keeping it secure.
Solutions growing in popularity include those based upon hybrid and multi-cloud architecture.
The hybrid cloud offers improved storage, security and accessibility. With mobile working on the rise, 24/7 access to business-critical applications is a necessity.
Other motivators for adopting a hybrid cloud approach are agility and cost savings. Instead of having to invest in costly infrastructures to withstand bursts in system usage, business can utilise public cloud systems during heavy usage periods – almost like a pay as you go mobile. During developing and testing, the hybrid cloud also offers an attractive hosting option to avoid any costly and disruptive downtime.
The arrival of the first 5G networks will create new opportunities for multi-cloud users to collect, manage, store, analyse, refine and provide integrated reporting based on more data than ever before.
Trend four: master data management and ‘me’
From operations, IT, marketing, sales, finance and customer service – data is key to the efficiency of each function. The challenge is for data managers to feed each business unit with a single and enriched source of meaningful information.
From a fleet perspective, advanced fleet management solutions have become increasingly intuitive and customisable, with reporting suites and dashboards delivering highly tailored and relevant information to users – from fleet departments to HR, sales and finance.
Elsewhere, many businesses are looking to implement master data management (MDM) solutions to streamline the growing complexity and distribution of data.
The increasing use of conversational technologies such as AI-based voice assistants, chatbots or intelligent personal assistants is at the core of MDM development in continually improving customer experience.
The intelligent conversational capabilities of MDM will increasingly play an essential role for greater accuracy and availability of information delivering immediate insights and holistic customer views and lifestyle portraits. However, it must be aligned with the customers’ need to be in control of how their data is used.
The increasing use of multi-domain MDM solutions can help businesses discover new product or service opportunities and match them to highly targeted prospects – considerably speeding up the time and cost to market.
Such meaningful insights provided by this immense amount of data is at the core of driving business growth and transformation. Businesses just need to be mindful that more data doesn’t always mean better data.
Trend five: future-gazing data analytics
Remember when you said back in the 90s that you didn’t need a mobile phone? If the unstoppable combination of data and technology teaches us anything it’s never say never.
Data analytics will radically and unrecognisably change the way we live and conduct business in the future.
Companies committed to embracing a data-centric culture should also be looking to support this with data analytics capabilities to keep up with the known, or even what is currently unknown.
This will drive an exponential change in career options – some jobs may even disappear altogether. A study from Oxford University showed that about 47 per cent of total employment as we know it is at risk – for example the work of an accountant has a 94 per cent chance of being computerised in 20 years.
Based on Moore’s Law, computer power is predicted to double every two years. This means that in the next 30 years all our devices and data platforms will become 32,768 times more powerful – making what is now impossible, possible.