What's trending in data in 2020?

Last year almost 200 data leaders attended DI Day, demonstrating an abundant thirst for knowledge and support to drive data transformation projects throughout their diverse organisations.

So what will this year bring? This year we expect to see organisations continue to leverage the power of data to deliver business value and growth. Here’s what we think will be the biggest data trends throughout the coming year:


5G Everything

Vodafone piloted the 5G phenomena last year, launching 5G in Auckland, Wellington and Queenstown hotspots. Though we’re still in the early days of 5G, we expect to see improvements to latency and increased data volumes passing through the network in 2020 - more devices, more complex data capture… more, more, and more.

With speeds at least ten times faster than that of 4G, businesses will be able to increase their data collection and transmission through sensors - so expect to see an increase in use cases for the internet of things (IoT).

What does this mean for consumers? Well, that TV series that took you minutes to download, will now take seconds.


The Talent War

Good people are hard to find… and to keep!

As the demand for data integration and organisational intelligence grows, we expect businesses will continue the struggle to find and retain expert data and analytical resource.

As our clients will know, our people are what Data Insight is all about. We go through a lengthy recruitment and on-boarding process to ensure we get the right people with not only analytics skills, but insights and storytelling skills too. 

Finding candidates with the perfect mix of technical and soft skills can be hard, so businesses will need to work to retain and recruit talented employees – or look to outsource to get the right expertise and experience. We would encourage analysts to ensure they are developing their commercial skills as well as looking for the ‘so what’ in the data that will drive their business forward.

Keeping great data science talent is another obstacle in itself. We’ve seen some Kiwi businesses build up data science teams with highly skilled individuals, only to lose those people because they are not ready to keep the backlog of work flowing that actually requires those skills. Coupled with the expense of data science projects and our aforementioned focus on ensuring value for investment, it can sometimes become less viable for businesses to hold on to talent.

We’ve been partnering with our clients to provide skills and expertise where they need it, when they need it. This means that our data scientists have worked on many and varied projects in the past, and look forward to many more in 2020. 


Privacy and Data Governance

Privacy and Data Governance have been a hot topic in recent years and we expect this trend to continue over the coming year.  

More data, advancements in AI and increased data sharing mean that consumer data privacy, and the management and use of data within organisations, is top of mind for business leaders.

This month, California’s Consumer Privacy Act has been enacted, following suit, (although somewhat different) from GDPR. This year, we expect to see Kiwi businesses continue to focus on how global law changes could affect them and how they can ensure compliance and best practice locally, whilst better managing their data assets to drive organisation wide efficiencies and revenue growth. 

Businesses that get this right will benefit from greater consumer confidence around data capture, and be able to better leverage their data to drive value across the organisation.

We expect this trend to continue to evolve and be debated in 2020. The good news is, we know our clients are very focused in this space and look forward to continuing to help them embed best practice in their organisations.


The AI Takeover

In the world of data, AI is a very vast domain. In 2020, we expect to see Kiwi businesses continue to explore and invest in AI to improve customer experience, create more relevant solutions, streamline processes, and become more efficient, ultimately saving in operational costs. 

Organisations are likely to focus on the value that investment in AI creates, ensuring commercial outcomes to justify the expense of AI models, solutions and data science teams.

We predict a move towards Automated Data Science where AI is leveraged to automate the data science life-cycle – doing the heavy lifting of mundane tasks that often consume data scientists’ valuable time. This will improve speed to market and should also reduce cost… brilliant!

We also expect to see more in the NLP space – smarter, faster, more sophisticated and more prevalent. Chat-bots and digital humans will get even more useful for gathering insights into customer sentiment as underlying models significantly improve.