Some data trends for 2023, without the hype
As we move into the first quarter of the year, I can’t help but remark on just how much hype is spread by software vendors with their largely self-serving predictions about upcoming trends. If you treat these forecasts as entertainment - like the horoscopes in a newspaper - they are interesting enough. But if you are considering long-term investments that will shape an enterprise’s data architecture for years to come, don’t take them too seriously. Rather, look for solid research.
I like the BARC Trend Monitor. In fact, I find it invaluable when I map out the enterprise technologies I need to research in detail.
BARC is an industry analyst firm based in Germany. They have a very thorough program of market research and product studies. The Trend Monitor analyzes a worldwide survey of over 1800 enterprise data leaders and the topics which emerge are not hype but realistic indicators of their focus and investment in years to come.
So, what is top of mind for 2023? Five topics stand out clearly., in order:
Master data and data quality
Data discovery and visualization
Unlike the latest hype, these trends don’t promise any quick wins. Success in any or all these topics needs a long-term commitment. Each is valuable, but together they represent an earnest investment in delivering high-value data to increasingly data-literate and demanding.
The trends of the Trend Monitor include a useful review of how priorities have changed over the years. Tellingly, master data and data quality have consistently remained at the top. Data culture has risen from 5th place to 2nd in 5 years and data discovery / visualization has dropped somewhat.
This makes sense, yes? If you have an effective data culture, then issues like visualization will likely take care of themselves in the process.
Some topics, like Agile BI, have faded away.
For now, you will also find AI or augmented analytics much further down the list. I expect this reflects, not lack of interest, but a recognition that enterprises have so much more to do before they can commit to advanced work.
It’s easy to overlook how many enterprises globally are still getting their act together.
Have a look at the Trend Monitor - it’s worth a thorough read for a level-headed, practical set of priorities. And do remember the trends. Next year’s version could be fascinating - without the hype!
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