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Data, analytics and AI predictions for 2023

The expansion of big data, analytics and artificial intelligence we saw in 2022 will continue into the new year and present both new opportunities and challenges for organizations.

As we look back on 2022, it's been exciting to see the rapid advancements in data, analytics and AI that have helped shape the way organizations operate. It was a turning point for many businesses as they began to realize the true potential of data-driven insights and the power of AI to drive innovation. As we head into 2023, we can expect even more breakthroughs and developments that will change the way companies leverage data and analytics to gain a competitive edge. Let's take a closer look at my predictions for the coming year and explore how organizations can prepare for the future of data, analytics and AI.

A boost in M&A activity. Expect to see more M&A activity in 2023 as vendors look to tell more unified, end-to-end and comprehensive stories. This is already happening with two recently announced acquisitions: Qlik/Talend and Confluent/Flink. Of course, the macroeconomic conditions help. We've heard from several executives across markets that having cash on hand matters now more than ever while looking to broaden their portfolios, fill gaps and/or enter new markets. So, what markets are ripe for more activity than others? I'm keeping a very close eye on DataOps, data observability, data science platforms and MLOps platforms.

A focus on data sharing with trust and governance. Answering the question "Where's my data?" remains a big challenge, and organizations are often using more than just their own data. They're using third-party data. This highlights what I expect to be a heavy focus on data sharing in 2023. Data sharing must be considered a critical pillar of overarching data objectives. With that comes the assurance of trust. This is where governance comes in. Governance is no longer just about compliance and privacy. It's also not just about using the right data catalog or leveraging data lineage capabilities. It's more about using intelligent capabilities to automatically discover data, create lineage, inform the right stakeholders and maintain optimized workflows without disruption. I'm expecting governance to have greater ties to data quality and data observability as organizations look to better empower customers and end users to reliably bring trusted data and insight to every decision.

A reduction in data management costs. Organizations can anticipate a significant decrease in costs associated with the handling and management of large-scale data collected from various sources. With the emergence of cutting-edge automation and AI/ML technologies, there will be less need for human involvement in the analysis of these sizable data sets, enabling fast, reliable identification and extraction of crucial metadata. These technologies will also increase the accuracy of identifying failures in notoriously complex data ecosystems, accelerate the process of gaining insight and cut down on unnecessary resources spent on ineffective methods and/or DIY approaches.

Efficiency and productivity gains made through augmented AI experiences. There are still many who believe AI will outright replace employees, especially as macroeconomic challenges remain ever present. We're seeing new tools, like ChatGPT, already transform the way people operate businesses or do their jobs, but I believe we're still far from a new AI-run world in many industries. What we will see in 2023 are changes in employee performance and behavior. For example, if you're already a great programmer, marketer or writer, ChatGPT will enhance your abilities even more -- whatever your role -- creating a new level of efficiency and productivity that you've never experienced.

Automation will affect employment and retention. In 2023, if you don't empower your employees to be more efficient and productive with automation and self-service, they will leave for companies that do. This is super critical in the analytics and AI markets, as many employees are overburdened by being given tasks outside of their job descriptions. As intelligent automation grows throughout 2023, regardless of the state of the economy, the degree of automation and advanced technology in a company will greatly influence employee decisions to stay or move on. People who are looking for jobs will be drawn to businesses that embrace intelligent automation, since it frees them up to work on more important and strategic tasks. On the other hand, businesses that oppose automation and continue to rely on manual and inefficient processes will have a hard time attracting and keeping the best and brightest workers.

A focus on data as a product and data mesh. Organizations need help ensuring the seamless orchestration, appropriate management and timely delivery of data. In 2023, organizations will look to the concept of delivering data as a product and using a data mesh to achieve this. A data mesh is a platform purposely built as a distributed data architecture that incorporates data collection and ingestion, data integration and transformation, storage and consumption, analytics, centralized governance, security and standardized interoperability. Meanwhile, data as a product is the process of treating data similarly to how organizations develop and optimize products for their customers. However, due to various factors such as data quality concerns, distributed data, tool excess, under-skilled teams, rising costs and increased risk, it's challenging for organizations to deliver data as a product. To tackle this problem, the solution is the concept of a data mesh. This approach enables organizations to rethink the way data products are made available to the wider business.

"Real time" gets even more real time. The rise of streaming and real-time data analytics has seen a recent jump in adoption as more businesses realize its potential. In 2023, we'll see real time go mainstream. We'll see more technology that enables rapid adoption with improved effectiveness, interoperability and performance across several industries. Businesses that believe they're already good enough when it comes to real-time tech will fall behind or lose their competitive edge.

Enterprise Strategy Group is a division of TechTarget.

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