Data Trends with the Highest Impact In 2019

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At the beginning of the year, we like to take time and speculate on which data science trends will make the biggest splash in the year. Now that we’re entering the second half of 2019, it is a good time to take a look at our initial assumptions regarding these trends and re-evaluate each one’s impact on the industry.

Cyber and Data Security and Transparency

Consumers are facing a growing concern about their sensitive information landing in the hands of unscrupulous individuals. This fear is only exacerbated by the increasing number of data breaches and identity theft cases capturing headlines. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, 2018 was home to over 932 known data breach incidents.

While the importance of data security is far from a new trend, the increasing prevalence of data breaches means customers, whether consumers or businesses, are actively looking for solutions and companies that they feel safe and comfortable with, in terms of their data and cybersecurity methods.

The data science industry needs to continue developing sophisticated cybersecurity defenses, but we also need to think about how we communicate these often advanced technologies and protocols to our potential customers and clients. People need to be reassured that their data is kept safe, and they want to understand precisely how you’re protecting their information. This is also leading to an increasing number of data regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation.

Better Data-Informed Decision-Making Processes

Big data and analytics have been at the forefront of the data science community for the past several years. Now that many companies have had time to play in the big data sandbox, 2019 is showing a lot of promise as a year in which data-informed decision making takes off.

This trend is especially impactful for smaller businesses that may not have the budget for a data science professional, or newer companies that simply lacked the historical data to help them garner any valuable insights. With a little time and experience under their belts, these companies are becoming much more adept at understanding their dashboards and utilizing their analytics tools.

In turn, this transforms the competitive landscape greatly. With more companies, both big and small, expertly wielding data to their advantage, we’re witnessing a far greater number of smart, strategic companies.

Artificial Intelligence Continues to Build, Requires Some Scrutiny

It’s impossible to talk about any tech- or data-related trends and not mention artificial intelligence. While we are only in the beginning years of the AI boom, we’re already seeing a large number of advanced tools and intelligent apps popping up. 

That said, AI is entering the same space of high proliferation that we’ve seen from past trends. It’s the point where there are so many tools and developments occurring at the same time that we’re overloaded with options. This creates a challenging environment to find the right tool for our unique needs.

A lot of companies are looking toward the AI boom with excitement, but they need to balance that excitement with a fair amount of scrutiny, primarily when investing in AI technologies to help grow their business. Not only are these technologies still in a relatively infantile stage, but with so many options populating the marketplace, companies need to research each choice and make the selection best suited toward their individual needs.

The future is uncertain, and new developments in data, security, and technology will forever be sculpting the landscape around us in new ways. By keeping our heads turned to the future, we can better anticipate and adapt to these changes as they occur. This is why it is so important always to be analyzing and re-evaluating the latest trends because it allows for overall, more intelligent data operations to exist.

Grace Frenson is a freelance writer from Philadelphia. She recently graduated from Drexel University with a bachelor’s degree in businesses administration. While studying for her degree, she interned under a notable financial consultant in King of Prussia, PA. She has a passion for finance and writing.