Team Outlier was at the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit last week in Orlando, FL which is the largest analytics conference in the world. We were lucky enough to be invited, by Gartner, to present as part of the “Innovative Analytics in Action: Emerging Trends You Need to Know” session and present Outlier on the big stage. The experience was amazing and it was a great opportunity to expose Outlier to the over 900 people in the room for our panel.
It is clear that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the Business Intelligence (BI) industry and at the conference Gartner said that they expect that almost all business intelligence buying will be driven by artificial intelligence starting in 2020. That is a fast moving wave and warrants going into more detail; here are our 3 biggest takeaways from a week at the summit.
#1. AI is everywhere
Trend: Every major BI vendor has announced or is announcing that their roadmaps are heavily focused on AI features. There were a number of fascinating previews presented at the conference from vendors both large and small about how AI is helping to automate various aspects of the BI workflow.
Outlier’s Take: There simply aren’t enough data analysts and data scientists in the world to meet the voracious need for BI talent, so AI features that can automate tasks and reduce the need for such talent will continue to grow. However, the benefit will be in augmenting existing people and not replacing them.
#2. Customers need quick wins
Trend: Customers are eager to adopt AI but want quick wins. Many of the companies that we spoke to were in need of ways to prove the impact of AI to their organizations quickly and easily. Unfortunately, most of the new features and products being announced still require massive implementation efforts or high cost and make it hard to justify without any evidence of impact.
Outlier’s Take: This is something we expected when first building Outlier’s Automated Business Analysis platform, since radical new technologies need a low barrier of adoption. That is why Outlier has a zero-effort integration process and can deliver the quickest of possible wins without tedious data preparation. The winners in this wave of augmented analytics will share our philosophy of minimal customer effort for maximal impact.
#3. AI unlocks new opportunities
Trend: Many of the customers we spoke with are not only excited about automating and improving their existing data and workflows, but unlocking new ones as well. The potential to take data that is not currently utilized and turning it into a competitive advantage is significant. For example, organizations with a wealth of maintenance data can use it to predict future maintenance and customer support data can help improve marketing tactics. These data sets have sat around gathering dust for years, but AI promises to make them valuable.
Outlier’s Take: Many of our customers are already using Outlier to analyze databases and data sources that they have never analyzed before, since they never had the time or resources. By lowering the cost of analysis, platforms like Outlier are already realizing this promise today and turning neglected data into a competitive advantage.
It was a great opportunity for us to be at the conference and hear from the analysts, vendors and customers about how AI is taking over the BI industry. We fully expect that next year, the impact of AI will be fully realized and look forward to attending again.