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2021 – A new year in data, analytics and AI

by Mike Jones in Other Cat 06/01/2021

A significantly challenging 2020 has left many questioning what will come next in the technology market. Many data and analytics experts from leading businesses such as Qlik, Cloudera and SAS have highlighted their own predictions for the year ahead.

One of the key areas and a popular discussion point is the prediction surrounding AI and Machine Learning. One area discusses how AI will continue to become more integrated with industry, more accessible, affordable and refined. Industry experts believe ML and AI will become more accessible to a wider range of businesses. While AI has largely been viewed as a tool generally applicable to data science experts, industry predictions suggest that this is changing and having these skills doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t utilise the advantages of AI. Other analysts expect the overall economics of AI to continue to improve, along with its accessibility. 

Ryohei Fujimaki, founder of dotData reiterates this prediction, stating the automated machine learning will enhance AI accessibility for non-data scientists and enable AI to go beyond predictive analytics and generate valuable insights into other trends and events that may have previously been overlooked.

Analytics and the challenge of the pandemic

Many of the discussed developments for this year view Covid-19 as a significant influence on technology predictions. For example, analysts believe more organisations will transfer their infrastructure to the cloud due to Covid-19 investments in MIL will rise rapidly.

When the pandemic transformed the global economy, businesses were forced to invest quickly into BI tools and data software to try and gain an understanding of what was going on and to make standard business decisions. Many businesses are having to make significant cuts in budgets to alleviate the impacts of the pandemic and maintain their core business functions. Yet, this year’s predictions believe that many organisations will sustain or even increase their investment plans into data science to enable decisions that could be vital in the survival of their business.

The pandemic has spurred accelerated demand for AI solutions and has raised the focus on the ethical use of AI. Data and analytical experts believe the focus will shift towards measuring changes in customer behaviour in real-time to deliver vital actionable insights.

Analytics can continue to influence how we manage the impacts of the pandemic, rather than being the other way around. Buno Pati, the CEO of Inforworks refers to it as a battle against Covid-19 and gaining access to vital data about the health industry will ultimately enable a more efficient response to the pandemic. Analytics will not only play an important role in approvals for the vaccine development process but will also be vital for planning the expansion of tracking distribution, measuring side effects and the overall effectiveness.