Today, it’s quite clear that analytics is here to stay. A recent IDC study predicts that the Big Data technology and services market will grow at a 26.4% compound annual growth rate to $41.5 billion through 2018. That’s about six times the growth rate of the overall information technology market!

 
But while the market is growing rapidly, the way analytics is being done is also changing rapidly. Technological advances have made it possible to achieve complex things such as real time analysis, analyzing on the cloud and even embedding analytics directly into applications. All these throw up completely new possibilities and applications that were hitherto unimaginable.
 
Here’s what we expect analytics to go in 2016.
 
Real time Analytics
When the analytics trend first came, it was more to do with analyzing past data. But today, ‘real time’ is the name of the game.  The IDC report mentioned above also states that by 2020, IDC expects that business buyers will help drive analytics beyond its historical sweet spot of relational (performance management) to real-time intelligence and exploration/discovery of the unstructured world.
 
By viewing and monitoring business in real-time, businesses can derive operational insight in terms of understanding user reviews, social sentiment about products and take appropriate measure such as sending real time alerts. It also enables predictive maintenance which uses past trends to detect possible machine failure, fraud detection, security threats in real time, based on current data.
 
It can be as simple as a retail store suggesting matching shoes for an outfit that a customer has just tried on. But it is a powerful tool in enhancing customer engagement.
 
Predictive Analytics
With data being generated across various platforms such as social media, app stores and other forums, enterprises can use predictive analytics to engage customers better. The ability to predict trends, understand customers, improve service and decision making are some of the top trends that we’ll see under predictive analytics. Analytics as cloud service will push this further.
 
Analytics as a Cloud Service
The cloud enables businesses to achieve faster time to market and reduced complexity with almost zero maintenance and the provision for on-demand scale. This is great for analytics adoption because it allows even smaller companies or individuals to use advanced analytics on the cloud with little or no upfront cost. The cloud analytics market is expected to grow from $7.5 Billion in 2015 to $23.1 Billion in 2020 at a CAGR of 25.1%
 
Analytics Embedded within applications
The integration of a business intelligence (BI) platform with the application architecture will enable users to choose where in the business process the analytics should be embedded. For example, for CRM applications, having analytics integrated in call tracking software helps guide call center employees on opportunities to up-sell or cross-sell opportunities based on certain parameters measured during the call.
 
Business users can access this intelligence within the enterprise application they use. Any new application or product built will have analytics or data dependent decision making as core component.
 
Self-service BI
One of the exciting things happening in analytics is the integration of natural language queries with Business Intelligence applications. With this, business users can generate sophisticated reports on their own without any intervention from the BI team.  They can discover data just by asking questions in natural language and get answers in the form of charts and graphs. Companies have already invested in self-service BI tools and this can be a game changer in the way businesses use existing data to guide future strategy.
 
2016 definitely promises to be an exciting year for analytics!