As 2014 draws to a close (where the heck did that go…???) I’m beginning to think about what the coming year might bring. I can definitely see a more mature analytics and data market; already more consultancies are opening, more agencies are focusing on becoming data-led, the demand for people outstrips supply by an enormous factor, and data-driven marketing technology continues to advance at an incredible rate.
Here’s my top 6 things that I think 2015 will be remembered for:
1. Data silos will be broken down.
I’m going to kick it off with this. As more reliance is given to data, and greater ROI is demonstrated, there will be a noticeable push to integrate data from different systems. I believe the digital analyst will be one of the main drivers of this; their desire, curiosity and ability to prove it a success will generate senior leadership support of the integration. Our disparate sources of data will begin to disappear in earnest during 2015. By 2018 we’ll be looking back on these days wondering how we ever managed to figure stuff out, marvelling at our patience and dedication.
2. Customer analytics the norm, not the goal.
Once we begin the data integration journey, we generally start with easy-to-merge data sets, such as CRM and other customer data. Putting these together is like turning a lantern on in a cave. Instead of poking around with a flashlight, we instantly have greater visibility across things that really matter – customers, not traffic metrics. Suddenly, all of our analytics focuses on customer attributes, and we can really make headway on the personalisation journey. With a greater ability to merge data sets using common ID’s, this will quickly become the norm, not the goal.
3. Multi-channel understood, not talked about.
If we’re more capable of cost-effectively joining up data sets, then clearly we should also have better visibility on multi-channel, multi-device behaviours. By channels, I mean both on and offline, call centres, POS, kiosks, ATMs, mobile, social, etc etc. Analytics platforms will begin to cost-effectively address ‘omni-channel’ as a core offering.
It’ll be the year of achievable relevancy. You have the data, you have the technology, you have the people, and you can define the processes. 2015 will be the year where many successfully put it all together to deliver personalised experiences and wonder why the heck they took so long to do it.
5. Wearable analytics will emerge.
Now that we’ve got mobile analytics, and wearable devices are becoming more prevalent, we should be wanting to understand the user behaviour associated with them. I think we’ll start to see an emergent part of analytics, similar to how mobile analytics emerged a few years ago. As these devices send their data back to phone apps, maybe those phone apps send some data into analytic platforms…who knows…it’s a brave new wearable world out there.
6. 2015 will be the year for Data Scientists.
God forbid, but the geeks will inherit the earth. Data Scientists will become more mainstream; that is, if you can find one and afford to pay them. Demand will sky rocket. There will be 4.4 million jobs globally in analytics, but only one-third of those jobs will be filled. Gartner says the demand for Big Data is growing, and enterprises will need to reassess their competencies and skills to respond to this opportunity. Those that are data driven will reap the rewards; those that don’t will rapidly fall behind. Universities are now starting to teach this stuff – which will help, but we still have a severe shortage.
So, there you have it. It’ll get more mainstream, be more accessible and offer more support all through a greater realisation about the return on investment. Let us know what you think will be the main areas of growth for 2015 and how you think you might fondly remember the year in 5 years.