New methods and tools to embed information into business processes — use cases, analytics solutions, optimization, work flows and simulations — are making insights more understandable and actionable. Respondents identified trend analysis, forecasting and standardized reporting as the most important tools they use today. However, they also identified tools that will have greater value in 24 months. The downswings in “as-is” methods accompanied by corresponding upswings in “to-be” methods were dramatic. (see Figure 8.)
Today’s staples are expected to be surpassed in the next 24 months by:
- Data visualization, such as dashboards and scorecards
- Simulations and scenario development
- Analytics applied within business processes
- Advanced statistical techniques, such as regression analysis, discrete choice modeling and mathematical optimization.
Organizations expect the value from these emerging techniques to soar, making it possible for data-driven insights to be used at all levels of the organization. Innovative uses of this type of information layering will continue to grow as a means to help individuals across the organization consume and act upon insights derived through complex analytics that would otherwise be hard to piece together. For example, GPS-enabled navigation devices can superimpose real-time traffic patterns and alerts onto navigation maps and suggest the best routes to drivers.
Similarly, in oil exploration, three-dimensional renderings combine data from sensors in the field with collaborative and analytical resources accessible across the enterprise. Production engineers can incorporate geological, production and pipeline information into their drilling decisions.
Beyond 3D, animated maps and charts can simulate critical changes in distribution flow, or projected changes in consumption and resource availability. In the emerging area of analytics for unstructured data, patterns can be visualized through verbal maps that pictorially represent word frequency, allowing marketers to see how their brands are perceived.