Pizza Hut is tapping on data to provide customers with a better experience. Source: Shutterstock

Pizza Hut is tapping on data to provide customers with a better experience. Source: Shutterstock

Your data can be dashboarded and visualized, but can it speak to users?

COMPANIES love data and have been looking for ways to capture, store, and analyze more and more data, every day, in an effort to gain an edge over competitors.

Pizza Hut, for example, in an effort to refine the customer experience it provides, has been quietly building an in-house team to help marketers analyze data to create insightful chatbots and find new audience segments to target.

Despite a company’s best efforts, however, they tend to struggle to climb the maturity curve with (big) data analytics.

It’s hard, after all, to break down silos, tap into varied data sources, and encourage managers to think outside the box, and finally create insights that can possibly transform the business or one of its segments.

To help companies overcome the obstacles they face with their ambitious projects, Garner is organizing the 2020 Data & Analytics Summit where its analysts will share examples and new ideas with audiences.

In advance of the event, Tech Wire Asia caught up with distinguished speaker and Gartner Managing VP Ian Bertram to learn about some of the exciting themes that are expected to be discussed in the conference.

Guiding business leaders for more than two decades, Bertram knows that companies have made a fair bit of progress with data and analytics, and have reached a stage where they have a reliable business intelligence (BI) platform which is ready to deliver better insights, in real-time.

Of course, that means the data preparation environment needs improvement, which brings artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into the picture.

According to Bertram, most organizations are hoping that they’ll be able to lean on natural language processing (NLP) to augment their AI and ML algorithms and help with most of the heavy lifting with data preparation.

“In the old days, we used to talk about NLP as kind of this separate thing. But now it’s all being incorporated as a function within the analytics platform.”

Although some organizations are lagging behind with their data analytics efforts, Bertram believes that the bulk of those that have led the charge over the past decade are in a great position to unleash the full potential of their data and get more out of it in terms of analytics.

Data that speaks is data that delights

These past years, data analysis has been focused on being able to deliver dashboards and visualizations on demand.

The future, however, will belong to those that can augment their platform to speak to its users, providing them with information via a digital assistant.

“In the old days, we used to send an email to administrators asking for the data we needed, now we can just ask Google or Alexa.”

Again, Bertram reminds business leaders that success will come to those that deliver more value via voice. So, BI platforms that are to serve modern users must not only be able to leverage voice but also deliver additional insights that are relevant and help open up new doors for the manager and his or her team.

To do this efficiently, however, companies need to work on their metadata and use cognitive technologies to classify and clean the data and make sure that the data platform really understands the original source of the data and where it originated.

The future of BI platforms, for organizations that charge ahead with intelligent metadata management and voice-based, conversational delivery of insights, is exciting.

For organizations that are struggling, the reality is that a little bit of clarity about the future and possible path to get to an ideal future state is all they need to turbocharge their journey. Attending the 2020 Gartner Data & Analytics Summit is a good starting point.