Customer insights, big data analytics to boom in 2015

Michael Barnes/Forrester Research

Forrester recently published its 2015 Predictions for Asia Pacific. I wanted to highlight some specific trends around customer insights and big data, two very hot topics for many AP-based organizations.

We strongly believe that success for many organizations hinges on your ability to close the gap between available data and actionable insight. Marketing is taking the lead here, as CI pros seek to use data to fuel customer engagement improvements. Hence 2015 will be a year of increased fragmentation as reliance on analytics spreads across organizations.

What will this mean for you? More cloud-based and mobile analytics, more demand for interactive and responsive analytics, and more use of specialist and niche BI and analytics service providers. Given this backdrop, Forrester believes that:

  • Analytics spending will increase by at least 10% across the region. Yes analytics spending will increase, but less of it will be visible in the CIO's budget. Marketing and other business departments will drive analytics investments to address specific challenges and opportunities. The technology management organization will have little control over the implementation and deployment of niche and specialist BI and analytics services.
  • Data discovery capabilities will create opportunities and expose problems. Business users want to define and drive their own data discovery journeys, using whatever information and tools they can get their hands on. In 2015, data discovery and exploration will increasingly take place outside of a centralized BI function. But demand for discovery will expose data quality and governance issues. Organizations will be forced to confront the inability of analytics and reporting platforms to do more than basic, lightweight integration of data at the desktop.
  • Cognitive computing will gain awareness but attract limited investment. Appreciation for in-memory processing continues to increase steadily, and organizations' awareness and interest in cognitive computing will grow sharply in 2015. While 2015 will not be the year of cognitive computing, there will be a number of large, high-profile projects where the benefits will be attributed to more intelligent systems — which will ultimately become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • Mobile analytics adoption will accelerate and become mainstream. Businesses in AP, especially those in high-growth markets like China, will rapidly expand their capabilities beyond web analytics and eCommerce initiatives to target digital intelligence, beginning with mobile analytics. These initiatives will be closely linked to customer experience optimization, engagement, tracking, and measurement, extending from cross-selling and next-best-action models to personalized offers at the point of interaction. But mobile analytics initiatives will challenge the capabilities of many customer insights pros, as mobile has its own dimensions of location, speed, and acceleration.

For more insight into this and all other Forrester Asia Pacific predictions for 2015, visit Forrester website.

Michael Barnes is vice president, research director at Forrester Research

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