Blog

Propelling into the Future of Data Business

Share
Subscribe to our blog

Submit this form to subscribe to illumex Blog. Your privacy is important; we won’t share your details. Use ‘unsubscribe’ in the blog to stop receiving Metadata, Data Fabric, and LLM Governance content.

Submit this form to subscribe to illumex Blog. Your privacy is important; we won’t share your details. Use ‘unsubscribe’ in the blog email digest to stop receiving Metadata, Data Fabric, and LLM Governance content.

My Impressions and Perspectives on the Gartner® Data & Analytics Summit 2023 – Part 3.

Contents of this blog series:

  1. Lead for Purpose. Connect with Trust. Make an Impact.
  2. Governance is Even a Hotter Topic in the Era of ChatGPT, and 12 Steps to Address Data Quality for Good.
  3. Data Lake / Mesh / Data Fabric and Everything in Between (The Active Metadata).
  4. The Future of Data Business.


In my previous blog on Data Mesh vs. Data Fabric, I discussed the role of Metadata and Governance in selecting the suitable path between those two approaches, all to enable the new reality (discussed in the first blog) by using Trust (covered in the second blog). In the last part of this blog series, I will cover the future of data business as discussed at the summit. What’s on the agenda for CDAOs this year? How did Generative AI raise the stakes? What is the new status quo, if there is one?

 

CDAO Agenda for 2023


Donna Medeiros presented a session based on the analysis of the 2023 CDAO Survey’s results – “CDAO Agenda for 2023 – Presence, Persistence and Performance” [1].

The session’s title was explained in the first slide: The CDAO executive’s Presence will help them succeed in their role; Persistence will help in sustainably supporting organization-wide decision-making capabilities; and the CDAO’s Performance should be reflected in the data-driven business strategy and should deliver a tangible stakeholder value.

How did those three aspects measure for the survey’s respondents in the past year? Not rosy.

CDAOs do consider themselves sovereigns (63%) but not exactly impactful (31%).

The term “technical debt” might be relevant to the CDAO’s practice according to the survey: 58%-77% of respondents report achieving short-term goals (revenue, risk, customer satisfaction, etc.) compared to 38%-55% achievement of long-term goals (new products, data sharing, adaptivity, Data Literacy, etc.). It seems that intermediate goals eat the long-term ones for breakfast.

I was curious as to how respondents addressed the following “Now, thinking specifically about your Data and Analytics team in 2022, how effective has the D&A team been at these areas of delivery?“ Out of one-third of top performers, 44% characterize themselves as providing value, and this mark goes to 24% among lower performers. To echo the above, the aspects of growth and expansion received the lowest ranking.

On top of that, CDAO responsibilities grow exponentially, up to 20 different tasks, they are now expected to wear many different hats and fulfill various objectives. How can this be mitigated? Donna suggests focusing on

  1. Relevance —finding initiatives, catching hype waves
  2. Credibility —delivering MVP even with narrow use cases
  3. Sovereignty —oversight over a complex set of domains within D&A

 

Gartner’s advice, narrated by Donna, was:

(Diagram: CDAO AGENDA 2023 Presence, Persistence and Performance, Donna Medeiros, Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023)

The good news is that organizational investments ARE available if you advocate the business case around them:

  • 44% of the data organizations are growing;
  • About 66% of teams boost investments around data management, governance, and advanced analytics.
  • The range of mode budget is $1-3M, mean budget is $5.4M, and the breakdown by industry is available online.


Data teams are in demand, plan your capacity!

How do you build a compelling business case for an investment? Identify strategic initiatives which the D&A function can support, map their scope, do resource planning and you have your business case.

To end on a more general note, Donna asked how CDAOs can make 2023 more successful. Her advice looped back to the beginning of the session: invest in personal development as a leader for Presence; invest much more in the human factors and people strategy to secure Persistence; and sell your vision and learn to say “no” to increase Performance.

Top Trends for Data & Analytics in 2023

 
What is the core characteristic of a Visionary Data Leader? To me, it is the ability to spot relevant trends and act promptly upon them. This is why I eagerly looked forward to Gareth Herschel’s session “Top Trends for Data and Analytics in 2023” [2]. Roy Amara’s famous saying, “We overestimate the effect in the short term, but underestimate it in the long run,” was a central perspective in this session.

From the sizable list below, which are trends, which are changes, and which are merely blips on the innovation radar?

(Diagram: Top Trends for Data and Analytics in 2023, Gareth Herschel, Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023)

Gareth introduced the framework of 3 themes to drive value at scale:

  • “Think Like a Business,” 
  • “From Platforms to Ecosystems,” and 
  • “Don’t Forget the Humans”

(Diagram: Top Trends for Data and Analytics in 2023, Gareth Herschel, Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023)

What stands out is the focus on D&A sustainability, which is set in the intersection of all three themes, and enables value at scale. To improve your D&A sustainability, prioritize or start initiatives that optimize operations to boost ESG goals. Raising awareness in D&A and AI teams about their impact on sustainability and fostering observability to monitor energy consumption and adopt emerging practices to improve energy efficiency also advance this goal. 

Let’s go through the themes in the framework that Gareth presented one by one:

  1. “Thinking like a business” for the D&A function means being able to sell the delivered products internally and own the outcomes. Our job is not to produce reports but to change decisions and make them more accurate. A business mindset also means acknowledging the cost of your operations and measuring its adoption and usage within the organization.
  2. “From platforms to ecosystems” means recognizing that increasingly comprehensive and integrated end-to-end architectures make adding new capabilities less costly and that sharing resources and capabilities enables greater value. Integration of D&A into the organization and societal ecosystem has a broad and diverse impact. Interconnected practical Data Fabric for data zones and domains can build enthusiasm. Emergent AI is a new team member capable of creating more impact with less organizational data.
  3. “Don’t forget the humans”: even though AI will take on many tasks manually performed today, humans will continue to act as decision-makers, and consumers will become creators. Therefore, AI risks should be addressed and actively managed. It’s like the idea Garry Kasparov heralded: it’s not about AI winning over humans; it’s about humans with AI winning over other humans.


Unless your risk tolerance and business needs require using AI, you should ignore it. But it rarely is the case, so pilot AI usage for your emerging needs, track your risk appetite, and adopt it if both go well.

After surveying trends for D&A in 2023, it seemed more than relevant to understand the impact technology might have on those trends. The past few years have been a whirlwind of new tech offerings, distinguishing between those worthy of adoption and those that might prove a waste of time, is crucial for organizations.

2023 is The Year Everything Changed… with GPT4


Daryl Plummer closed the conference’s second day with the inspirational keynote “The New Economics of Technology and Data” [3]. I was expecting all doom and gloom: SVB had just collapsed before the summit, the geopolitical situation in Eastern Europe seemed to worsen, and a new wave of COVID-19 was all over the news. So I wasn’t expecting too much excitement in this session.

Was I wrong! Darryl connected uncertainty to innovation and pointed to the silver lining in the cloudy skies.

Would you agree with this statement?

(Diagram: Keynote: The New Economics of Technology and Data, Daryl Plummer, Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023)

And how about that one?

(Diagram: Keynote: The New Economics of Technology and Data, Daryl Plummer, Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023)

According to Daryl, innovation cycles become increasingly shorter, and we do not have the luxury to hesitate anymore:

(Diagram: Keynote: The New Economics of Technology and Data, Daryl Plummer, Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023)

To accurately estimate the true impact of various tech trends, use the five principles of economic potential suggested by Daryl:

(Diagram: Keynote: The New Economics of Technology and Data, Daryl Plummer, Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023)

You should take action only when you can spot economic advantage across as many principles (mentioned above) as possible. Anything else might prove a waste of your time, or worse – a business deadend and a major blow to the organization.

Which areas are ripe for change? Daryl suggested looking at Time Series data (you might know it as time-stamped data) and at physical things which can be reduced to data (like geospatial data).

To understand whether technology harbors a real potential for disruption, I liked Daryl’s metaphor of separating the signal from the noise by eliminating loudness from impact. For example, the 1883 volcanic eruption of Krakatoa was heard 3000 miles away, the sound pressure wave traveled around the globe seven times over five days. There was some destruction, but life was back to normal quickly. Though this event’s noise was global, the actual impact was minor.

Now think about ChatGPT – the noise is there, no doubt, but the effect is far beyond what we could have imagined when it first entered our lives.

The sign of an impactful change is the reach of its effects. And we have yet to understand all ChatGPT’s ripple effects across Synthetic data, industry shifts, work styles, security risks, and new skills.

How can we start exploring the change? As W. Edward Deming said, “If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.” This is why Prompt Engineering will be THE data and analytics skill; according to Daryl, no tech skills are required. The Prompt Engineer’s role is to understand and expand knowledge to validate and verify answers supplied by Generative AI by asking the right questions and running context. Another crucial aspect of this role is ensuring proprietary learnings do not leak back to the Large Language Models.

How can the five principles of economic potential be applied to the Generative AI tech trend? Daryl has you covered:

(Diagram: Keynote: The New Economics of Technology and Data, Daryl Plummer, Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023)

What could be a proper endnote for a session like that? Daryl dropped the mic with a declaration that “2023 Is the Year of Generative AI: The Year Everything Changed“.

Top Data and Analytics Predictions, the GPT Era


Why don’t I drop the mic on this blog on this high note as well?
It is because Rita Sallam managed to overwhelm us even further with her session “Top Data and Analytics Predictions, 2023” [4]. The most brilliant part of the session was Rita’s decision to share the original slides side-by-side with the new predictions after Gartner examined the impact of Generative AI. I was astonished at the difference – all in a few months!

Rita opened her session with a dramatic announcement, “We are at an inflection point.”

This inflation point she referred to was the widespread availability of Generative AI tools and services. What are the opportunities to capitalize on during this period of uncertainty that we’re currently facing? Rita said that those are “talent and how we work,” “trust is the foundation,” and “be D&A native.”
Compare the two “before” and “after” slides, the change created by taking Generative AI was into consideration is astounding:

(Diagram: Keynote: Top Data and Analytics Predictions, 2023, Rita Sallam, Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023)

Vs. this slide:

(Diagram: Keynote: Top Data and Analytics Predictions, 2023, Rita Sallam, Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023)

Rita said we shouldn’t necessarily focus on predictions (the main text in bold) but on the implications of 2nd and 3rd-degree derivatives – the three examples below. They clearly show an unexpected evolution in managing talent and in how work will be carried out throughout organizations.

Per the identification of GPT’s potential tech disruption, what will business intelligence solutions look like in the era of GPT? Do you remember my mentions of Metadata activation from the previous blog? Metadata is even more relevant now, according to this session:

(Diagram: Keynote: Top Data and Analytics Predictions, 2023, Rita Sallam, Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023)

By 2026, the adoption of active metadata will increase to 30% vs. the low single-digit stats of today.

How do we bring back trust in the answers generated by D&A to decision-makers, especially in a world of AI-generated content? How can we make it, as Rita puts it, a foundation in organizations?
“By 2027, 80% of enterprise marketers will establish a dedicated content authenticity function to combat misinformation and fake material,” added Rita. To regain that lost trust, we need interconnected system monitoring – a centralized Governance platform for Data and Analytics in one single place (which, for me, sounds like Semantic Layer).

(Diagram: Keynote: Top Data and Analytics Predictions, 2023, Rita Sallam, Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023)

As for her last suggestion, “be a D&A native,” Rita explained it meant to think like a business.

Here comes Rita’s “mic drop” for the CDAOs:

(Diagram: Keynote: Top Data and Analytics Predictions, 2023, Rita Sallam, Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023)

This statement not only means that CDAOs finally get a seat at the executive table and have revenue targets, but also that a quarter of Fortune 500 companies will have a data-and-analytics-based product responsible for the most significant part of their earnings.

 

Attending the Gartner Data and Analytics 2023 Orlando summit sessions this blog covers was beyond exciting. I felt I was awarded a glimpse into the tech future and a guidebook on leveraging what I had seen. I hope you also catch some of this excitement and build this future revenue product that will make your organization a market leader for the next one, two, or five years or even open up a generation-long opportunity.

 

 

[1] Gartner, “CDAO Agenda for 2023: Presence, Persistence and Performance,” Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023.
[2] Gartner, “Top trends for Data and Analytics in 2023,” Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023.
[3] Gartner, “Keynote: The New Economics of Technology and Data,” Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023.
[4] Gartner, “Top Data and Analytics Predictions, 2023,” Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando, Florida, 20-22 March, 2023.
* GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

Beyond the ‘Dashboards Are Dead’ Rhetoric: Part 8 – The Future

The Resilience and Revolution of Business Intelligence In The Age of Generative AI. Embracing the Future: The Ongoing Evolution of...

Read More >>

Beyond the ‘Dashboards Are Dead’ Rhetoric: Part 7 – Amazon QuickSight

The Resilience and Revolution of Business Intelligence In The Age of Generative AI. Amazon QuickSight – “Unified business intelligence at...

Read More >>

Beyond the ‘Dashboards Are Dead’ Rhetoric: Part 6 – Sisense

The Resilience and Revolution of Business Intelligence In The Age of Generative AI. Sisense – “Build intelligent analytics into your...

Read More >>

Contact us

Reach out to learn more or request a demo

Become a Partner

Join illumex Partner Program