Howard Dresner: Now is Time to Double Down on Data

by | Aug 5, 2020 | Articles

According to Howard Dresner now is the time to gear up and dive into the world of data.

So far, 2020 has been a remarkable year for the development of data-driven analytics and business intelligence.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, analytics vendors rushed to help organizations fighting against the virus. Software companies helped to develop resources to inform the public. Right now, vendors are working directly with governments and healthcare organizations. Together they are working to help these organizations make data-driven decisions to stop the spread of the coronavirus. In other words, data has become a key factor for success.

Howard Dresner, founder of Dresner Advisory Services, said now is the time “to double down on data.” The expert pointed out two major trends in 2020 – cloud migration services and AI features, like natural language processing (NLP).

“Everything is moving to the cloud, and all the vendors support cloud to one degree or another,” Dresner said, as cited by the TechTarget.

While some companies are investing heavily to become cloud-native, others are lagging behind. Although everyone understands the importance of moving to the cloud, some are simply not designed for the cloud. The reason is quite simple, they still have an old architecture.

Another prominent trend this year is NLP. Although NLP has been around for decades, due to high maintenance and costs, it stayed somewhat in the background. However, now with modern technology getting better, there is a lot more AI and ML built into NLP. As a result, NLP is getting much more mainstream.

“I’ve seen some pretty interesting demos… It’s encouraging, but there’s still lots of work that needs to be done to automate and simplify and generalize the technology. It’s promising,” Dresner said.

AI adoption rates in 2020

Jeff Loucks, a top Deloitte executive, said that 2020 will take take the adoption of AI into the enterprise mainstream.

According to Deloitte’s “State of AI in the Enterprise” report, out of 2,737 executives surveyed across nine countries, everyone said they were already using some form of AI in their companies.

Furthermore, 53% of the AI adopters spent over USD $20 million over the past year on AI-related technology. 71% of them are expecting to increase the spending in the next year.

Interestingly, almost everyone (93%) said they use cloud-based AI services. They added that companies prefer to buy the services instead of building their own AI capabilities.

“It’s easier to get started,” Loucks said. He added that compared to building a system, cloud services are faster to deploy and generally end up costing less.

Some organizations making wrong data decisions

Despite the importance of data, many organizations are still trying to do what they tried in the past. The old habits die hard.

What is even worse, some are reacting to the new pandemic without using the benefits of data.

This can lead to overreactions and bad decisions. For example, companies may try to reduce their workforce without having a clear picture about the situation. Executive may not understand who should stay and who should go, and not knowing when they should be hiring workers back.

That is why, businesses must use data. This will help to avoid reckless actions and understand current trends in the market.

Whether we like it or not, many companies won’t survive in the post-COVID-19 world. However, those who will, need to embrace data. At the end of the day, in data we should trust in the times of trouble.

“If you have data, it speaks truth, as opposed to the last five people you spoke to or your own biases. Data always challenges those, and we’re always collecting data, and that’s a great way to learn,” Dresner said.


AI | analytics
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