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Data forecast for 2023: Time to extract more value

Expect more organizations to optimize data usage to drive decision intelligence and operations in 2023, as the new year will be one of economic challenges for many.

As the global economy deals with the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, supply chain disruption, war in Europe, inflation and a possible recession, the value of data is likely to rise in 2023.

Data can help organizations make better decisions using analytics and business intelligence. Data is also the foundation of machine learning (ML), providing the content on which AI is able to automate processes and provide recommendations.

As organizations face the daunting prospects of a challenging economy, making the most effective use of data to improve business outcomes and optimize operations will be a primary concern in 2023.

Convergence of business strategy and data science a 2023 imperative

Managing and making the best use of data in the past has been the domain of database administrators and data scientists.

As the business imperative for using data more effectively grows in 2023, Hyoun Park, an analyst at Amalgam Insights, said he expects it will also result in the emergence of the business strategist role acting as the business-facing data scientist. The business strategist role will need to combine data skills with the ability to apply those skills to specific business processes that are often revenue-generating or profit-enhancing in nature.

"Data scientists seeking to improve their market value in 2023 need to learn the ins and outs of finance, logistics, marketing or sales to see where their models and algorithms can enhance business productivity and insight," Park said.

Moving from business intelligence to decision intelligence

A now nearly universal application for data is for business intelligence (BI).

From an operational perspective, BI typically manifests in enterprise uses cases as a dashboard. Business executives can use the tool to access metrics an organization wants to track, such as key performance indicators .

Park said he is hopeful that in 2023 proactive recommendations, which are often referred to as decision intelligence capabilities, will start to supplement existing BI dashboards to provide added value to business analytics.

"People need recommendations, next-best actions, summaries of key points and followups, not just dashboards and a ton of charts and graphs," Park said.

Data governance increasingly moves to AI

Using data effectively relies in large part on being able to properly manage and control how data is used. That's where data governance comes into play, with tools and technologies that help organizations govern the data they use.

Data governance will have an expanded role in 2023, according to Eckerson Research analyst Kevin Petrie.

There will be a growing use of ML technologies to improve data governance technology by helping to automate processes and policies for data. Petrie said he also expects a rising number of data governance platforms to help organize, document and apply policies to ML models alongside other data assets in 2023.

Every product will become a data product

Benefitting from data to improve business outcomes entails collecting product and service data. That's where the concept of data as a product -- also referred to as data product -- will have growing relevance in 2023.

Barr Moses, CEO of data observability vendor Monte Carlo, predicted that nearly every product will become a data product as organizations seek to optimize operations.

"In 2023, more and more companies will seek to integrate ways to track and monetize data generated by their products as part of their core offerings to drive competitive advantage," Moses said. "As a result, the onus on quality, governance and compliance will be even higher."

Moses said she anticipates that in 2023 companies will look to find technology that narrows the gap between data producers and consumers. Examples include collaborative data notebooks that merge analytics with data science modeling, and spreadsheets generated directly in the data warehouse. The overall goal and benefit will to help bring faster time to value for critical data assets.

Data observability and security remain top priorities

As organizations increasingly rely on data to overcome the challenges they are likely to face in 2023, it will also be critical to integrate security and data observability.

Mark Van de Wiel, field CTO at data integration platform vendor Fivetran, said that as a result of today's geopolitics, he expects data security to remain a top priority for industries nationwide and around the world.

Beyond ensuring the security of data, it's also important to ensure the reliability of data, and thus increase its value. With data observability tools, organizations are able to improve the reliability and quality of data pipelines.

"Companies are looking to make the most of their data assets and increase efficiency with their modern data stack tools," Van de Wiel said. "Data observability will be an important area of growth next year and play a critical role in allowing companies to expand their data-driven journeys."

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