The Future is in our Hands
Data analytics is an incredibly useful tool for both businesses and governments alike. It allows companies to reduce costs, make faster and smarter decisions, and learn what products and services consumers are interested in. Companies of all sizes are turning to data analysis to make the most of the information they have available to them and to gain a competitive edge. Analyzing vast amounts of data has certainly not always been as seamless as it is today. As we’ve witnessed, technological innovations in recent years have contributed greatly to the increased use of data analytics.
Walk back in Time
Data analytics has a long and storied history rooted in statistics. Many believe that the use of statistics first began in ancient Egypt. The Egyptians periodically took censuses when building the pyramids. Statistics then evolved to be utilized for taxation purposes. Governments throughout history have utilized statistics for a wide range of purposes. It has evolved to become a transformative tool that has continued to maximize efficiency.
So how does it work?
Collecting data is only one part of data analysis. After collecting information, the user must be able to analyze it for any beneficial information. Before the introduction of modern computers and technology, this could be incredibly difficult and time-consuming. One example of this is the United States Census . Prior to 1880, it took the United States Government over 7 years to process the collected data and to create a final report. Technological advancements have made the process of analyzing data much quicker and more cost effective. In 1890, Herman Hollerith introduced a new machine that allowed the government to process the data much faster and at a far lower cost. The report for the 1890 census was completed in less than 2 years versus its nearly 6-year completion earlier that decade.
Technological advancements have also allowed businesses and governments to use data analytics to benefit both consumers and citizens. Henry Ford, for example, recorded the speed of assembly lines and determined that they would allow his company to produce cars much faster and at a lower cost. The use of analytics in this manner allowed Ford to reduce the production time of a Ford Model T from 12 hours to 2 hours and 20 minutes. The improved efficiency allowed Ford to reduce the price of the car to a level that was affordable to more people than ever before. Modern computers and technology have allowed manufacturers to improve efficiency even further. Businesses aren’t the only organizations that utilize data analytics. Governments also analyze data to determine how they can best serve their citizens. An example of this would be a transportation department collecting traffic data and analyzing that information to determine if more highway lanes are needed.
As technologies continue to progress and advance even further, so will data analytics. Data analytics will continue to gain momentum for the foreseeable future. Experts have made several predictions about the future of data analytics.
Today’s technologies allow for anyone, not just data scientists or analysts, to increase their productivity and improve their decision making. Most experts agree that as technologies improve analytics tools will continue to become more user-friendly. There are a few experts who make the case that tools for analysis will emerge that don’t require analysts. Microsoft and Salesforce have both announced tools that let non-coders create apps to view business data. This will encourage further adoption throughout many companies which could lead to staffing shortages. Today, there is already a noticeable shortage of qualified analysts and scientists. Organizations must prepare for these shortages today to ensure that they have enough qualified employees to meet their requirements well into the future.
Ultimately, big data and the use of data analytics is only going to increase. In order to stay competitive well into the future, businesses must prepare for the rise of data analytics in their business endeavors”. Technology and analytics tools are already incredibly useful today, but will become even more useful tomorrow.