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May 2018 Recap – The Future of Analytics

It’s undeniable that the world of analytics is rapidly evolving, so our May event dove into what that really means. Third time #cbuswaw speaker Mike Amer gazed into his crystal ball and shared his thoughts on the subject:

The topic was actually prompted by a discussion he had with Dave Culbertson at a WAW earlier this year, when Dave asked, “Should I be worried that AI is going to take my job?” Mike’s conclusion, “Dave, you’re probably old enough that you’re okay, but there are plenty of younger folk who need to assess what their job is, because AI will be eliminating a lot of tasks (the drudgery ones, mostly) that we do today.”

Ultimately, we need to be very cognizant that any analytics-related technology or capability can be plotted somewhere on the Gartner Hype Cycle:

It can be tricky, in the moment, to figure out exactly where a particular technology falls. But, they all follow this pattern — ramping up to grossly inflated expectations before cratering into the trough of disillusionment.

What’s not really new is “the math.” Humankind figured out calculus 300 years ago (although whether Gottfried Liebniz or Sir Isaac Newton should get credit for that can be debated):

In short:

  • The volume of data being generated doubles every year
  • The tools are getting better and better at managing that data
  • Natural language processing is coming on strong, BUT
  • We’re a lonnnng way from Skynet, and we’re a lonnnng way from AI being effective at storytelling
  • While AI will be taking on drudgery/tedious tasks sooner rather than later, there is still plenty of work to be done in analytics that requires human thought

As always, it was an engaged crowd, including an unintentional display of rabbit ears:

And, as always, there was good food and drink: