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10 hot data analytics trends — and 5 going cold

Big data, machine learning, data science — the data analytics revolution is evolving rapidly. Keep your BA/BI pros and data scientists ahead of the curve with the latest technologies and strategies for data analysis.

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One of the mantras of efficient analysis is “do the computing where the data resides.” If you don’t or can’t follow this rule, your analysis is likely to have large delays if the data moves across the local network, and even larger delays if it moves over the Internet. That’s why, for example, Microsoft recently added R support to SQL Server.

As the amount of data generated by your company grows exponentially, the capacity of your data centers may not suffice, and you will have to add cloud storage. Once your data is in the cloud, your analysis should be, too. Eventually most new projects will be implemented in the cloud, and existing projects will be migrated to the cloud, moving your company from the CapEx to the OpEx world.

Cooling down: Monthly BI reports

Who: BI/BA pros, data scientists

Before self-service business intelligence became popular, BI was the province of IT. Managers described what they thought they wanted to see, business analysts turned that into specifications, and BI specialists created reports to meet the specifications — eventually, given their backlog. Once a report was defined, it was run on a monthly basis essentially forever, and printouts of all possible reports went into management’s inboxes on the first of the month, to be glanced at, discussed at meetings, and ultimately either acted on or ignored.

Sometimes the action would be to define a new report to answer a question brought up by an existing report. The whole cycle would start over, and a month or two later the new report would be added to the monthly printout.

Alas, businesses that want to be agile can’t respond to environmental and market changes in months: the time between asking a question and getting an answer should be measured in seconds or minutes, not weeks or months.

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