2020 is the decade of data, already data
helps us hire. It guides our marketing and sales spending. We rely on it when we commute, and within a few years, data may drive our cars.
But look back a few decades, and you’ll see just how immature those trends are. In the 1970s, companies raced to develop the pocket calculator; by the mid-1980s, they’d leapt forward to the personal computer.
Technological change is exponential. Think about how much the personal computer changed our relationship with data compared to the calculator.
Data trends to watch:
Consumers are demanding ownership of their data.
For years, there’s been a wild-west culture around consumer data. Companies collect everything they can, hoping that they’ll be able to translate it into insights around how and why consumers buy.
Recently, some have started to question that model.
Automation is simplifying data science.
Until recently, data science involved a lot of drudgery. Despite their technical training, data scientists actually spend more time gathering and cleaning data than anything else. Building models, conducting analyses, and visualizing data are actually a small part of the job.
Software is starting to change that.
Data is becoming the heart of corporate storytelling.
Marketers, brands have been using data to identify audiences and shape content development for years. But only recently have companies actually started to tell audiences stories about that data.
If any one company kicked this off, it’s Zillow. Zillow’s Zestimates use hundreds of variables to predict a home’s sale price with incredible accuracy.
Data is starting to drive our schedules.
As someone who feels like there’s never enough time in a day, I’m stoked to be part of this trend. My company, Calendar, is using scheduling data to help users understand which types of meetings take up their time. Soon, it’ll show with whom that time is spent and suggest optimal meeting locations.
Data skills are becoming a professional-development priority.
Companies beyond the tech giants are starting to encourage non-technical team members to learn data-management skills.
As 2020 unfolds, so will new and more democratic approaches to data. More people will use more data to inform more of their decisions.