Forrester published their data and analytics (D&A) predictions for 2023, and the outlook isn’t good. A sizable portion of the firms the analysis group evaluated have made alarmingly little progress toward becoming meaningfully data-driven.
According to Forrester, only 7% of organizations—the same percentage as in 2021—have matured in terms of their ambition to become insights-driven in 2022. In a similar vein, just 48% of the firms polled said they relied less on their gut feelings when making decisions and more on quantitative analysis, a decrease of one to two percentage points from 2021 and 2020.
According to Forrester researcher Kim Herrington, the evidence suggests that 2023 will either make or break D&A.
Herrington says in the three-page paper that “we experts feel that this ‘pause’ is the calm before the storm, and that the decisions made in 2023 will fuel or extinguish a world of unprecedented opportunity.”
However, Herrington writes that thoughtful businesses will take advantage of the chance to evaluate where they are and put their D&A houses in order so they are able to play their best hand once the social and economic waters calm, rather than going “horror show” and cutting the D&A and analytics budget in 2023.
Herrington offers some insight into what businesses can do to improve their chances of success with their D&A plans in 2023 and beyond. Herrington and her colleagues came up with five doable, practical steps.
1. Psychological Safety for Question-Asking
Analytics is all about discovering the connections between objects in the actual world, which necessitates being inquisitive and challenging presumptions. According to Herrington, companies that don’t promote a culture that values asking questions in 2023 won’t maintain their question-askers for very long.
According to Forrester, if firms don’t create a culture that values psychological safety, they will lose talent. Organizations should adopt the principle that there are no stupid questions rather than laughing or making fun of colleagues who ask questions, according to Herrington.
She asserts that everyone should have access to the ability to raise these questions.
2. Data Governance Will Continue to Expand
On the front of data governance, the Forrester analysts have discovered some positive developments. The expansion of data governance teams over the last five years has been “slow and steady,” according to Herrington. And Forrester estimates that in 2023, there will be a 30% increase in the number of enterprises with established data governance teams.
He actually see more people getting on the data governance bandwagon than ever before, Herrington says. There’s more content there, and talking about governance is far less intimidating now than it was previously.
Data governance attracts few people to the D&A profession. Tracking data’s provenance, history, quality, privacy, and security is probably the least fascinating aspect of creating an insights-driven business. However, there is no faster way to damage D&A than by ignoring these fundamental data governance rules.
Data governance may not feel enticing to some, but the truth is that without it, you’re lost, because it supports everything,” Herrington explains. So, if you want to monetize your data at any time, if you want to make it actionable, if you want to be data-driven, you’ve got to make sure that the data that’s driving you is driving you to the proper location.
3. Termination of D&A Projects
According to Forrester, 25% of D&A projects will be terminated by 2023. This will not be due to budget cuts, which the analysis group has not yet seen. The pruning is more a reflection of the necessity for D&A teams to demonstrate a real return on their D&A efforts to CEOs and decision-makers.
Consolidation is beneficial. It’s not the worst thing in the world, by any means. Herrington adds that there must also be room for innovation. Data and analytics cannot be reduced, in actuality. It is about making innovation progress. It is about progressing in terms of innovation. Yes, you can spend more money on artificial intelligence, but you must also spend more money on data and analytics, which includes business intelligence and data governance. This is the substance that keeps the world turning.”
4. Increased Investment in BI Fabric
Let’s face it: people prefer their business intelligence tools. You may dislike Excel, but unless you rip Bob’s spreadsheet from his cold, dead hands, you will never have it.
In 2023, forward-thinking businesses will spend money on BI fabrics that enable different BI tools to coexist with some level of data sharing and collaboration, as opposed to requiring everyone to use the same BI product.
Making the most of what you have in the upcoming year is the goal, according to Herrington. “In actuality, it took so long to develop the use case to purchase the tool. And for now, we’re just getting people to use the tool through data storytelling, data literacy training, and data communications, which we need to do to make people more at ease with it.
5. Data Products Expand
Organizations will have the type of basis upon which they may construct data or insights products as they master more of the D&A fundamentals. In fact, according to a Forrester poll, 14% of firms want to do just that in the upcoming 12 months.
Herrington is hoping that 2023 will see expansion in this field, which is primarily interested in collaboration and communication technologies that improve data storytelling.
It’s one thing to gain wisdom for oneself, but quite another to impart it to another person, as she puts it. Once more, this relates to data governance principles and basic communication skills. If you have an insight, you must be certain that everyone you send something to will be able to open it.