The Future of Business Analytics – Is it Automation?

Business analytics is the heart of most major organizations nowadays. There’s hardly any business that doesn’t use the services of a qualified Business Analyst to help them make better, informed decisions based on big data.

In recent years, Business Analytics has seen a high influx of people, with hundreds trying their luck to secure their futures. Since the world is generating more data than ever, it only makes sense to use that data for your organization and take decisions while keeping in view the current and past trends.

However, with the development of big data and cloud computing tools, many people wonder if business analytics will be automated altogether? Does it really need human interaction to respond to changing market trends and make informed decisions based on data?

Well, there sure has been quite a surge in the market of automated tools that help organizations make data-driven decisions, they’re still a far cry from replacing business analytics.

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the future of business analytics

Developments Impacting the Future of Business Analytics

Let’s discuss some of the biggest challenges being faced by business analytics, which are endangering its future.

Augmented Analytics

While augmented analytics sounded like a mere fancy term a while ago, it’s becoming the real deal nowadays, especially when it comes to business analytics. 

In essence, it’s nothing but a combination of machine learning, natural language generation, and automation of data insights. 

When you talk about automated ML algorithms and deploying them in the world of business analytics, you’re basically referring to augmented analytics. 

Such is the potential in this field that according to a bold prediction of Gartner, it’ll be the hottest trend in the upcoming year, placing on-site business analytics in danger.

Augmented analytics can bring in lots of revenue, and using AI in your analytics opens up a door to new business opportunities. This requires business analytics to re-structure their pipelines and start adapting to AI in their workstreams.

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Cloud Services Are on the Rise

The vast application and the gradual decrease in cloud services prices have seen a massive increase in organizations using them. Using cloud services over traditional warehouses has ample benefits. To name a few, they offer never-ending space and a completely central system. 

There are a lot of such cloud services nowadays that come with a built-in analytics dashboard. This totally wipes out the need for on-site analytics, and there are various reasons why this might be a great idea, such as better integration of the built-in tools with the data stored in the cloud.

One great example is SAS Business Analytics. It’s a fully loaded Business Analytics solution that offers integration with mobile devices, CRMs, big data, etc. 

The package includes analytics tools coupled with AI. Such tools are a no-match to mere on-site business analytics.

However, there are corresponding downsides to such cloud services, and having all the data out of your hands topping the list. 

Needless to say, it’s not easy for an organization to give their keys to massive databases to an external company, keeping in view the ever-growing privacy concerns of customers.

Embedded Analytics vs. Business Analytics

Embedded analytics is a term used to refer to analytics physically embedded in your software, so you won’t need any additional analytical tools to perform analytics on them. In contrast to the business analytics tools, which are standalone, these embedded analytics systems are tailor-made for different uses.

The major advantage of having embedded analytics over business analytics is that they are very specific to the software you’re using. The dashboards they have within the software provide you easy access to them. 

It makes the analysis part a lot easy. Again, it’s a huge challenge to business analysts since it singlehandedly deals with the analytics and software itself.

An example in this regard is Salesforce. It comes pre-loaded with the analytics software which makes it seamless for the users to get insights about customer backgrounds and behaviors.

Can Automation Replace Business Analytics? Will AI replace Business Analysts?

Regardless of all the challenges mentioned above that business analytics is facing today, there is still considerable time before it totally shifts to automation. Chatbots and AI might capture a significant part of business analytics; there’s still human personnel required to run and keep those tools under their check.

Nevertheless, the hype about automating business analytics is real, and it may progress up to a point where it might even become a threat to it, but we’re not anywhere near that point. In fact, it is beneficial for business analysts in a variety of ways.

First off, business analysts don’t have to invest hours while exploring big data and combining it from various sources; the AI will do that for them. They could simply make better use of this time and do what AI can’t, making decisions based on the data to steer their organizations in the right direction.

Moreover, automation might not catch up with the ever-changing market needs and adapt to new tools and technologies. Business analysts could undoubtedly fill in the gap. 

As times advance, new complexities take birth, and it’s pretty much out of the scope of machines to adapt to them, which again requires business analysts to take control.

Final Words

Business analytics plays a pivotal role in every organization. Playing the main part in every decision regarding the customer-bases and the ongoing trends, they’re undoubtedly a great asset to any business in the current world of big data.

However, we’ve seen how business analytics is facing a hard time with the advancement of machine learning algorithms and the tools to manage big data in making decisions. It certainly puts a question mark upon the future of business analytics. It’s still hard to see automation taking over business analytics for a considerable time in the future.

Unarguably, automation will certainly ease some burden off business analysts’ shoulders; it cannot replace people. Just like marketing automation doesn’t wipe off the need of marketing managers and the workforce.

Emidio Amadebai

As an IT Engineer, who is passionate about learning and sharing. I have worked and learned quite a bit from Data Engineers, Data Analysts, Business Analysts, and Key Decision Makers almost for the past 5 years. Interested in learning more about Data Science and How to leverage it for better decision-making in my business and hopefully help you do the same in yours.

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