In today's business environment, organizations are increasingly demanding advanced analytics that allow them to use large volumes and diverse types of data to discover patterns and anomalies and predict outcomes.
"Our research makes it very clear that advanced analytics is rapidly becoming fully integrated into the operations and decision-making processes at companies across many different industries," write Hurwitz & Associates COO and Principal Analyst Marcia Kaufman and Senior Analyst Daniel Kirsch in the research firm's recent Advanced Analytics: The Hurwitz Victory Index Report 2014. "It is no longer sufficient for businesses to understand what has happened in the past, rather it has become essential to ask what will happen in the future, to anticipate trends and to take action that optimize results for business."
For instance, says Kirsch, drug stores are now turning to advanced analytics to help them predict the scope of flu season or allergy season six months in advance so they can more efficiently stock just the right amount of medication — neither running short nor overstocking and taking up valuable shelf space that could be dedicated to something else.
Farms are leveraging advanced analytics to provide more insight into when to plant, how to optimize crop yields and when to harvest. Manufacturers are turning to advanced analytics to predict when a machine on the production floor is going to fail so they can perform preventative maintenance before a failure causes expensive unscheduled downtime.
Financial services firms are leveraging the technology to combat internal and external fraud. Professional sports teams are using the technology for all manner of things, including the use of sensors on athletes to create optimized workouts and predict injuries. The use cases are nearly limitless.
"Where we're really seeing catch on is predicting consumer behavior," Kirsch says. "Companies want to be able to provide customized offerings: You bought three sweaters, and people who bought those sweaters might be incentivized to buy this package of undershirts for 30 percent off. If you're getting that level of customized service, you're more likely to bite."
Offerings in the advanced analytics space are rapidly evolving to meet the changing needs of these organizations, Kirsch says. Here are 11 market trends that Hurwitz & Associates see dominating the advanced analytics space today.