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I spent some time over the holidays crystal ball gazing; the following are my top 5 data and analytic predictions for 2017:

Prediction #1: Strategy Rules

Companies continue to refine and operationalize their Digital Strategy in support of their overall business strategy.  They also continue to refine their analytics and data strategies to reflect their digital strategy evolution and move beyond digital pilots to truly digital business models fueled by data and analytics.


Prediction #2: Customer Engagement Trumps Customer Experience

Organizations continue to leverage mobile, digital and real-time data to truly engage customers and business partners. They use gamification and other technologies for true engagement.  They partner with digital upstarts and create or extend innovation labs for ideation.


Prediction #3: Data Governance Gets Its Due

Data Governance finally gets center stage as companies recognize the true value of data quality and understandability for self-service and in increasing customer and partner extended self-service.  More complete end to end Data Governance programs are put in place; however, companies right-size governance to focus on priority areas and avoid governance bloat.


Prediction #4: Agility is King, Long Live the Cloud

Companies begin to seriously embrace the Cloud for agility for new applications and to extend access outside corporate walls  to customers and partners. They develop hybrid architectures and find ways to make data more accessible both in on premise and cloud environments.


Prediction #5: AI/Machine Learning Takes Hold

Companies move to leverage more automated decisioning and assisted decisioning using AI and Machine Learning. They create professional development and incentives to address anticipated cultural resistance to AI. They increase use of business systems analysts to develop business rules to make AI and Machine Learning a reality.