Top on the list of emerging technologies today is Business Intelligence. BI is an encompassing term used to describe a range of tools used by businesses to conduct analyses on business information. Business intelligence has taken data reporting from gloomy spreadsheets to detailed data visualization.
With BI tools, businesses can better combine data to provide insight that cannot be gotten from a single set of data. Also, it has increased efficiency, accuracy, and speed of data reporting. For most of 2020, BI has been a trending topic. And in the coming year, it promises to become even more talked about. Below, I consider selected tools that will dominate the conversation.
For many businesses today, data collection and processing is a vital process. And thanks to globalization, businesses today can access a pool of clients much larger than their home countries population. This has greatly increased the amount of data that they have to collect.
Already, many businesses have turned to automation. With the right BI tools, they can not only automate the collection of data but its processing. However, it is still a developing field. Data tasks are not expected to be fully automated in the next decade. However, in 2021, we should expect to see more automation.
Artificial intelligence is probably the most notorious BI trend on this list. It achieved this status, no thanks to repeated exaggerated portrayals in Hollywood movies. While some of it has been positive, an alarming number has been negative. Spreading dangerous rhetoric to suggest that AI will cause the extinction of the human race.
Nothing is more ridiculous. AI are simply computer programs that are (in layman’s terms) trained to respond to complex situations based on available data. Already, many businesses have started to adopt AI tools. Chatbots, for instance, have become widely used as a customer service tool. However, AI is still an emerging technology and there is still more to be seen, hopefully in the following year.
The rapid increase in the amount of data collected has introduced a new problem – security and proper usage of data. Tech companies often sell subscribers’ data to advertisers. This has become a very grey area, ethically. The problem was brought to the fore when it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm, had improperly used user data it had obtained from Facebook to influence elections.
Already, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and California’s Consumer Privacy Act have been set as frameworks for data protection legislation and legal usage of customer data. Data security determines consumer confidence. People will be more likely to use your product if they know they can be confident in your data governance.
However, like the others, it is also an emerging trend. Definitely, in 2021, we should expect to see more legislation and ethical consensus regarding data governance.
Natural Language Processing
A lot of AI tasks involve interacting with humans. This interaction is made possible by an interface that interprets human speech to machine language and vice versa. This interface is Natural Language Processing (NLP). Already, it is being greatly applied in the use of Chatbots. But, that is pretty easy, considering that the language is text-based.
The more daunting task is voice communication. It is already being applied in a few products, the iPhone’s Siri, the Android’s Google assistant. It is also being used in the various smart home assistants. However, it is also still an emerging technology. There is still a lot of work to be done before NLP technology attains the proficiency of Iron man’s JARVIS computer.