In 2023, generative AI took the spotlight as businesses and consumers became enamored with understanding its usefulness and how it might change the way they work and even live in the future. It's impressive how quickly the world wanted to adopt it and apply it to an unlimited number of new use cases.
Every tech conference shifted to an AI focus as technology vendors began marketing and embedding the technology. Venture capital investments shifted to AI-related businesses, and boardrooms became filled with discussions about AI and how to use it. As a society, we have even added to our vocabulary terms, including generative AI, large language models (LLMs), ChatGPT and Bard. It became the topic of discussion at holiday dinners across the country regarding how it might change our lives for good or for bad. The generative AI debate is now a regular conversation topic for the foreseeable future and affects everyone.
Anyone in the tech industry knows the use of data to drive business and consumer behavior has been present for a long time. Organizations built modern data platforms to support the end-to-end use of data to empower employees, consumers and business decision-making. Data drives analytics, generative AI, predictive AI, BI, robotics and virtualization, which pushes business and innovations forward.
Going into 2024, it's clear organizations have established the goal of empowering themselves with data to drive efficiencies, reduce costs, build competitive advantages, accelerate innovations and empower faster and better business and consumer decision-making.
However, to achieve this goal, organizations need to have modern data platforms designed to effectively collect, manage and extract value from data to empower the business. In its July 2023 study "State of DataOps: Unleashing the Power of Data," TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) found that 88% of organizations reported they could improve their use of data. Additionally, when asked about AI, 79% of organizations said they must use AI in mission-critical processes to better compete.
2024 will focus on data platform development to maximize the value of an organization's internal and external data, which includes feeding new AI and analytic workloads, internal and external LLMs and improving data delivery speed to the business with strong data governance, quality and lineage.
Organizations should consider a modern data platform (Figure 1) to address goals and challenges as data continues to grow exponentially from a diverse range of new internal and external data sources. In the April 2023 ESG study "Data Platforms: The Path to Achieving Data-driven Empowerment," 90% of organizations reported that they have 50 or more data sources to manage. Data use is growing among employees and systems, including AI, BI, machine learning workloads and visualization tools.
Focusing on the data platform can help organizations achieve their desired data results. Organizations stand to see faster and better results in the following areas:
- Data-driven decision-making.
- Enhanced customer experiences.
- Operational efficiencies.
- Innovation and growth.
- Competitive advantages.
2024 can be the year for AI initiatives, but the data platform is core to success.
Stephen Catanzano is a senior analyst at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group, where he covers data management and analytics.
Enterprise Strategy Group is a division of TechTarget. Its analysts have business relationships with technology vendors.