Where is all of this Analytics Stuff Going?
Over the past few months I am increasingly intrigued by what has been going on in the field of analytics. Over the past couple of decades, the word “analytics” has been fashionable. Whether it was text-mining, web analytics, CRM, neural networks, etc. the word analytics has become a standard word in our business language and required for nearly any job qualification these days.
While analytics has been fashionable for awhile, there are certain driving forces lining up that I believe are going to drive analytics to levels never seen before. This explosion can be attributed to the sheer explosion in data volumes available for analysis and the vast storage and instantaneous retrieval to make more informed decisions much faster. This trend is only going to continue.
We are already seeing this beginning to accelerate with the crazy amount of acquisitions going on over the past couple of years. IBM alone has acquired Netezza ($1.7B), Unica ($.5B), SPSS ($1.2B), and most recently i2 and Algorithmics ($.4B). And it doesn’t end with IBM: HP came out in August and said it was going to be exiting the PC and tablet market, and then bought Autonomy for $10B to focus on …. you guessed it: Analytics. These are not sporadic, small plays. They are massive, industry changing moves.
And it doesn’t matter what industry you look to. Counter-Terrorism, banking, advertising, health care. Everywhere we look, the data is exploding exponentially creating the biggest sandbox of questions and answers ever seen. For example, companies are now developing analytic technology to know where I use my android smart phone and when. Imagine you are walking out of your office at noon for lunch when an advertisement comes across your phone with a 20% coupon for the restaurant across the street. Talk about relevant.
Speaking of smart phones, the long promised notion of mobile payments is quickly taking shape. The technology pieces are finally aligning and we are seeing some major moves from the big payment providers (Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Google) in this direction. The crusty old bank payment channels are being attacked on all fronts. What has me completely mystified is what will happen when this analytics explosion collides with the explosion in mobile.
I am going to grab my box of popcorn, and and get a good seat for this show.