This week in data – January 12

What has the ever-changing world of data got in store for you in 2018?

This week, we’ve shelved our regular data news wrap to bring you our top picks of ‘data predictions’ for the year ahead.

Prediction #1: Every company is now a data company

Github’s top technology predictions for 2018 ranged from net neutrality battles to the increasing importance of open source application, but the prediction that most caught our eye was that:

This year, more companies will realise that data is their biggest asset.

Right now, businesses might have data but they’re just sitting on it. Not anymore – this year will see them start uncovering that data and getting value from it.

“This includes data movement and the tools and services that support it, like analytics and machine learning systems,” says Github.In 2018, business value and competitive advantage will be built on data. That means smart businesses will start understanding what they have, locking it down and finally using it in the market – so don’t be left behind.

Prediction #2: Actually understand what data you have

Among Datanami’s veritable feast of expert big data predictions, a single theme remained dominant;

Businesses need to start viewing all of their information and combine it to create new opportunities.

Right now, businesses might know they have some data. They also might protect it. But they don’t have it all together in a system they can easily use.

That’s going to change, Datanami’s expert contributor Peter Schlamp (VP Workday Analytics) says; “In 2018, we’ll see more and more organizations leaning on technology platforms that provide a comprehensive view of their data for richer insights and greater business agility. Whether they are seeking a single repository encompassing a company’s people and financial information, or a system that can combine data from various sources with in-house data for advanced analytics, companies will increasingly eliminate disparate technologies that contribute to siloed data in order to fully harness the potential of their data,”

Competitive advantage will come from using information on-hand in 2018. Datanami’s expert contributors have predicted that the businesses that have it all in the one place will be best placed to win.

Prediction #3: Big data will combine with artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the big buzzword for 2018, but KDNuggets delves into what that means for data:

In 2018, it will be easier for businesses to start combining their data with AI.

Right now, creating AI models is difficult, time-consuming and costly. Being able to easily plug data into AI tools will help businesses create new projects and value quickly.

“In 2018, we’ll see the data-science/app-development community converge on an open AI development framework that wraps a common abstraction layer around modeling tools,” he says.

What does that mean exactly? If your business has a heap of data, it’s going to be easier to start creating AI tools with it. This is great for start-ups – and any business that has a bunch of information they don’t know what to do with.

Prediction #4: Get ready for new regulation

2017 was a year filled with regulatory discussion, controversy and legal challenges regarding data. One of eConsultancy’s experts predicts that 2018 will be the year that business in Europe and around the world grapple with operationalizing the GDPR.

The next year’s focus will be on adapting to new data regulation coming out of Europe.

The GDPR is a big deal. Among many other things, the new regulations narrowly define personal information. Any company that handles the information of an EU citizen – anywhere in the world – must comply with the new laws. They come into effect in May. Which means this year is about compliance.

“Organisations should be getting data cleaned up, consented and well organised,” the piece points out.

“The new era of tidy, consented data forces us into best practice, and encourages engaging personally with users who want that approach.”

This is a big change from how Australian businesses have been operating, but a good one to start 2018 with. The sooner businesses get their data in order in the next 12 months, the more costly mistakes they’ll avoid in the years to come.

It’s certainly going to be an interesting year! We’re looking forward to sharing it with you.

Next week, we’ll be back with the latest news from the week in data.

Until then, why not check out our CEO Paul McCarney’s 2017 address?

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