PBT Group top picks of data trends to watch in 2024

PBT Group top picks of data trends to watch in 2024

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, understanding the latest data trends is crucial for businesses looking to stay ahead. We delve into the top data trends predicted by PBT Group for 2024.

At the start of 2024, it is time to examine some of the data and analytics trends that will likely have a significant impact on local businesses and the data industry in the months to come.

“Over the past year, we can see how trends like data democratisation, the emphasis on Artificial Intelligence, Cloud adoption, Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) and the quest for real-time data have evolved. Some have become staples, while others continue to spark discussions. Drawing on insights from experts at Gartner, Forbes and other thought leaders, and integrating my experiences within South Africa, I have gathered a few trends that I believe will see people, processes and technology become even more intertwined in 2024,” said Andreas Bartsch, Head of Innovation and Services at PBT Group.

Building a data-literate employee culture

Data literacy can be considered the ability to read, write and communicate data in context. Given how data has pervaded every facet of a person’s role in the organisation, having a data-literate workforce enables the business to become more data-informed and realise the value of data analytics investments.

Of course, technology has an important role to play; however, data literacy is essential if the company is to effectively transform and become more data-aware for the requirements of the digital age.

“Data literacy has become a fundamental skill for every person within an organisation. As roles like the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Data Officer (CDO), Chief Data and Analytics Officer (CDAO), and potentially even the Chief Data Literacy Officer (CDLO) evolve, the focus sharpens on embedding a mature level of data literacy for informed decision-making across the business,” said Bartsch.

Prioritising data governance

The ubiquity of data underscores the need for robust data governance. Regulatory compliance highlights this necessity with an enhanced focus on data governance likely to become part of many boardroom discussions in the months to come.

“Companies who fail to implement comprehensive data governance practices are at risk of successfully managing their data strategies. Just as literacy is a key building block, governance requires active participation from all stakeholders,” said Bartsch.

It becomes business-critical to manage and educate employees, making data governance a part of their daily routines and overall business operations.

Increased adoption of DataOps

Business and technology leaders should think of DataOps as the ability to streamline everything from data collection, preparation and analysis to its ultimate delivery.

“Think of DataOps as being able to enhance efficiencies in all these aspects. It will likely follow in the footsteps of DevOps. Its emphasis on cross-functional collaboration, automation, and continuous integration will be vital for predictable and efficient data management,” said Bartsch.

Stream data processing from the edge

With data no longer centralised in a data centre, Edge Computing has become a vital enabler for businesses to reach out to where their customers are, understanding and responding to their needs at the source, and harnessing deeper insights into their interactions with their products.

“This is resulting in shifting the challenge of real-time data processing from sources like IoT into a significant business opportunity. Businesses are now poised to leverage technologies for near real-time insights, making the most of the data streaming from various sources,” said Bartsch.

Edge Computing must therefore be seen as an enabler that can propel any organisation, regardless of its industry sector, into a future where customer-centricity is at its core. As businesses continue to evolve, placing customers at the forefront will remain critical. Being able to stream data and pulling real-time insights will be crucial in this regard.

AI everywhere

AI’s ubiquitous nature continues to grow. From customer support where AI can provide accurate responses to standard queries to data analysis, where the technology can be used for data cleansing and to identify errors in datasets, the potential of this is virtually limitless.

“Being able to integrate AI in a business-relevant context within the organisation will result in increased productivity, consistent messaging, round-the-clock availability and personalisation. Even so, human intelligence will remain a fundamental component in this regard. People will remain responsible for building, training, monitoring and managing AI tools. This means that human oversight will be a critical element of how successful AI can be in the organisation,” said Bartsch.

Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, data literacy will become a universal language, essential for all. Data governance and security will be imperative due to regulatory requirements. DataOps will gain traction for its automation and efficiency. Near real-time insights will be enabled through data stream processing, and AI will become an integral part of the business landscape.

“However, the cornerstone of all these trends remains quality data. A well-architected modern data platform, best practice data engineering, and skilled data specialists are crucial for the success of these activities,” concluded Bartsch.

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