5 for ’15: Predictions for the Year of Information Over Data

January 14, 2015 Stuart Frankel & Kris Hammond

Bid farewell to the era of data hoarding and hello to the era of mainstream artificial intelligence

2015 will be the year of information over data – In 2015, the ongoing fascination with data will be refocused towards the real goal: information that everyone can understand and use to improve our businesses and lives.

  1. Artificial intelligence will step into the mainstream – Everyone will stop worrying about machines taking their jobs or wiping out the human race and focus on how intelligent machines can make our lives better. From Watson to Deep Learning to predictive analytics, we will see greater use of AI and its intellectual children in the work place. Businesses will start partnering with intelligent machines to help us be more productive, elevate our role in the workplace and ultimately make us smarter.
  2. A picture is worth a thousand words” is a marketing pitch – CIOs will wake up to the fact that visualizations and dashboards do a good job of displaying data, but they don’t tell stories. In order to help their employees and customers, we will see companies start to employ tools that help tell the story in words rather than just paint a pretty (or pretty complex) picture.
  3. Democratization of data will become the democratization of information – Releasing government data into the wild was a great first step, but unless everyone can understand what the data means, it is hardly democratized. In 2015, we will see an increased demand for this data to be more accessible and understandable. From information about neighborhood crime to the availability of services to transportation, 2015 will see the transformation of data into information that everyone can use.
  4. The end of the data-hoarding era – Companies will begin to realize that they’ve amassed data to the point of hoarding. In 2015, smart business leaders will start to demand more immediate returns from data to directly solve real business problems. Forward-thinking CEOs will curb spending on data infrastructure technologies and invest more heavily in tools that explain, communicate and derive meaning from data. The business metrics will shift from understanding “How many terabytes of data do we have?” to “How much do we know?”
  5. Data scientists aren’t as sexy as we thought – In 2015, CEOs will demand more from their data than the elusive “big insight” that data scientists keep promising but haven’t been able to deliver. They will decrease investments in human-powered data science and adopt scalable automation solutions that understand data, unlock insights trapped in it and then provide answers to ongoing problems of understanding performance, logistics, provisioning and HR just to name a few.

Stuart Frankel is the CEO of Narrative Science. Connect with Stuart on  and Twitter.

Kris Hammond is the Chief Scientist of Narrative Science. Connect with Kris on  and Twitter.

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