Breakdown of Tableau’s “2018 Top 10 Business Intelligence Trends”

Xerva, 12/01/2017


Tableau just released their predictions for BI in 2018: 2018 Top 10 Business Intelligence Trends. The report touches on a wide array of bleeding-edge BI topics, including AI, natural language processing, and more! Here is our breakdown of the key points:


1. AI

Tableau predicts AI and machine learning will help analysts by taking care of basic number crunching tasks. This will boost efficiency, and allow analysts to “stay in the flow” of their analysis. Machine learning will never replace analytics because only humans can understand how inputs and outputs are meaningful. According to research from Gartner, AI will become a positive net job motivator, creating 2.3 million jobs while eliminating only 1.8 million.


2. The Liberal Arts Impact

More individuals with backgrounds in liberal arts are seeking careers in tech, and Tableau thinks that is a very good thing. Their skill as story tellers will allow them to better communicate results, helping decision-makers translate raw data into actionable insights.


3. Natural Language Processing

Tableau predicts that in 2018, Net Language Processing (NLP) will grow in “prevalence, sophistication, and ubiquity.” For examples, research by IDC indicates that by 2019, 75% of workers whose daily tasks involve the use of enterprise applications will have access to intelligent personal assistants.


4. Multi-Cloud

Despite its drawbacks (it’s expensive and is more work for your developers), multi-cloud adoption is on the rise. Many businesses are using multi-cloud to compare multiple cloud providers at once, reducing risk and increasing flexibility. According to Gartner, 70% of enterprises will implement a multi-cloud strategy by 2019.


5. Rise of the CDO

Tableau predicts that in 2018 the role of Chief Data Officer (CDO) or Chief Analytics Officer (CAO) will be increasingly prevalent. The CDO will manage BI strategy and be responsible for empowering every level of the organization with analytics. The CDO will free up the CIO (Chief Information Officer) to focus on data security and governance. According to research by Gartner, 90 percent of large enterprises will have a CDO role in place by 2020.


6. Crowdsourced Governance

In 2018, business will be more likely to embrace crowdsources data governance models. IT departments and data engineers will curate and prepare trusted data sources, and end users will have the freedom to explore the data themselves. As Tableau puts it, “top-down processes that only address IT control will be discarded in favor of a collaborative development process combining the talents of IT and end users.” IT and end users will work together to identify to create rules and processes that maximize the business value of analytics without creating security risks.


7. Data Insurance

Tableau believes that in 2018, more businesses will use data insurance to mitigate the risk/cost of data breaches. This seems probable since a 2017 study by the Ponemon Institution found that the average total cost of a data breach was estimated at $3.62 million. Currently, only financial institutions insure their data, but data insurance is still expected to spread to other verticals.


8. Data Engineer Role

Demand for data engineers will continue to grow. Data engineers extract data and make it usable. They understand how the backend of the BI process works, and what needs to happen for data to serve businesses functions. More and more businesses are realizing that this role is vital to BI success. For example, a 2016 Gartner study found “respondent organizations were losing an average of $9.7 million annually as a result of poor data quality.”


9. The Location of Things

The internet of things (IoT) is growing, but most companies still don’t have the skills or infrastructure to support IoT data. One positive trend identified by Tableau is that businesses are starting to leverage location-based data using IoT devices. This sub-category of IoT is called “location of things.” New technology like Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) allows businesses to track assets and interact with personal devices to create more personalized experiences. Location-based data can also be used as an input by analysts to better understand what happens where.


10. Academic Investment

Demand for job candidates with skills related to analytics and data science is growing, and many managers are struggling to hire analytical talent. In response, universities are starting to expand the number of data science and analytics options they offer to students. PWC predicts that by 2021, 69% of employers will consider data science and analytics as critical skill sets for job candidates.


That’s what we’ve got! If you have the time, read the original report by Tableau.