Data is not going anywhere anytime soon. As long as you have analysts who can keep a fresh perspective, the things that you can do with analytics are limitless. What makes analytics so rewarding is that you are able to find trends which lead to causation, correlation, and ultimately the beginning of a whole new cycle. It truly is an infinite loop; the more you discover, the more you know, the more you can investigate, and that cycle continues.
In the next year, you may see some trends reverting toward more traditional data stores as people are exploring this new world of “big data”. Predictive analytics is another buzzword that is constantly growing, and while it could help us immensely, it could also turn to be quite dangerous. Statistics would say that you cannot predict anything unless you have the probability range that you are basing your prediction on. With that being said, as long as you have the human species involved, there is an element of chaos that will inevitably be introduced. If people rely too heavily on analytics, they can lose the ability to interpret situations and use their own intuition to make decisions. What I do not want to see is decisions go entirely to the hardcore data analytics model, as people could lose their human reasoning skills. As long as statistics are married with common sense in the future, then we will be OK and see positive progression.
From a customer service perspective, we have the ability to greatly improve customer service with predictive analytics. Imagine that you are given the ability to accurately predict customer demand. With these predictions, you would be able to adjust all services based on the demand, adjust costs, time, and so much more. The prediction of buying trends is nothing new, but I do see it becoming much more accurate. The key component in all of this is going to be correlation and figuring out what is truly influencing particular patterns.