Two data trends marketers need to watch out for in 2017

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The role of data has been rising over the last few years, and no CMOs will oppose or question its relevance when it comes to marketing today. As we start this brand-new year, what are some data trends that can be expected to go big in the coming months?

According to Anil Mathews, the founder and CEO at Near, at least two areas looks set to define 2017, and bears a closer watch on.

Emergence of data converging platforms

Wearables are set to become ubiquitous, if they are not already so. Elsewhere, the number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices is also expected to surge with an influx of new connected cameras, sensors and other networked devices.

The data generated by these devices will be “incredibly voluminous”, observed Matthews. Harnessed correctly, this can give businesses deep real-time analytical insights that can help brands understand their consumers far better, as well as to make data-driven decisions, he said.

Matthews predicts the rise of data-converging platform to handle the massive surge of data from connected devices. And this is a good thing, since having a consistent and unified framework for development will bring down DevOps costs and provide a unified framework to better monitor and analyze this data.

“A converged platform has a lot to offer - from richer analytical insights, leading to focused product development, in turn leading to higher Return on Investments (ROI),” he said.

Increased adoption of artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) will be another big trend, said Matthews, stepping into the spot previously taken up by big data and machine learning. He described AI as a marrying of machine learning models with efficient analytical algorithms.

The reason for the interest and excitement behind AI is simple. Matthews explained: “AI will strengthen real-life analyses and enable us to draw deeper, more meaningful, and relevant conclusions that will help us build insights and make connections that we have so far not been able to tap into.”

“AI will not only have a tremendous impact in the field of digital marketing, but also customer service because we see it as a powerful tool for enhancing the overall customer experience,” he noted.

In a nutshell, AI will help marketers and business leaders solve problems quicker and more efficiently.

Ultimately, the key to successfully leverage data would be to think beyond complicated algorithms, analytics, and automation, and entails deeply understand real-world user workflows.

“In the coming years, with every other solution dealing with complex, real-time data and analytics, the differentiator will be how you simplify the data and how simple and user-friendly you present your solution to be,” Matthews said.

Further reading:

How marketers can make the most of location data

Data and its role in content marketing success

China brands are drowning in data, says TNS