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2012 predictions: banner year for big data, healthcare analytics

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The growth of “big data analytics” will outpace all other areas of analytics in 2012 according to the International Institute of Analytics’ (IIA) annual forecast for business analytics, and the healthcare industry will see the greatest increase in the use of analytics.

IIA Director of Research Tom Davenport presented the firm’s view on the challenges and opportunities for users and vendors for 2012 during a live teleconference held in December. “There will be a marked shift in power and influence in 2012 from the CIO’s information technology (IT) function to the analyst,” Davenport says. “The need for IT and analysts to collaborate and compromise for better understanding and appreciation of each other’s challenges will drive the shift.”

According to Davenport, the continued interest in analytics among C-suite executives will be influenced by:

Opportunity: The healthcare industry will see the greatest increase in the use of analytics as providers seek more efficient and effective identification of patient safety hazards.

Growth: The pace of growth in predictive analytics in the cloud, big data and the “nuts and bolts” areas, such as data warehousing, will outpace the demand for analytical talent. Privacy considerations will be a major factor in the evolution of big data analysis.

Application: Social media analytics will follow a similar maturation curve to workforce analytics, merchandise analytics and price optimization, and e-commerce analytics. Big data analytics will dramatically change the 2012 technology landscape as the maturity of technologies, in-memory analytics and data appliances will make it more cost effective to handle large data sets.

Influence: The number of companies advancing along the analytical maturity curve and innovating will be directly proportional to those companies developing and executing on a complete “analytics ecosystem” strategy. Traditional corporate performance management will evolve to business process optimization applications that marry predictive/prescriptive analytics disciplines with business process engineering, process workflow orchestration and social collaboration.

Challenges: Analytics asset management will emerge as a major challenge this year. Analytics data, models, findings and recommendations are corporate assets, and these assets require continuous management in order to deliver a stable source of financial return for firms.

A broadcast of the teleconference is available for IIA members on the IIA website.

[Note: In the upcoming January/February 2012 special issue of Analytics magazine on healthcare, Davenport discusses “analytical integration in healthcare.”]

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