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Predictions Series: Interview with Dhiren Patel, Chief Product Officer & Head of Customer Success at MachEye

Predictions Series: Interview with Dhiren Patel, Chief Product Officer & Head of Customer Success at MachEye

Hi Dhiren, please tell us about the kind of Data Movement we expect to witness in 2021.

Accelerated data movement to the cloud will disrupt existing BI infrastructure 

While this trend has already begun, it is likely to pick up steam in 2021. “On premises” data stores fail to scale compared to the explosive growth in data assets. Businesses from restaurants to healthcare organizations are embracing the cloud for better agility and scalability. As a result, more and more analytical and reporting data stores will also move to the cloud. 2021 will see a “hockey stick” adoption of cloud data stores. However, from a SQL execution standpoint, existing BI infrastructures fall short of meeting new cloud data store requirements. To adapt to the cloud ecosystem, organizations will have to upgrade to advanced BI platforms.

How would Data Dashboards and Reporting change in 2021?

The death of dashboards is imminent

Dashboards have outlived their utility. Their lack of interactivity and user friendliness makes static dashboards and visualization platforms increasingly dated. Raising questions about their utility and ROI, business users will ask for solutions that enable them to explore data on their own. Organizations will also start realizing the true cost of owning these legacy platforms as they discover hidden maintenance costs.

Also Read: Crystal Gaze: AiThority Predictions from Bill Scudder, GM of AIoT Solutions, Aspen Technology

So you think self-service Dashboards will be prevalent in 2021?

Yes. Self-service BI will deliver autonomous insights to business users

The pandemic highlighted the urgent need to deliver insights without delay, especially to frontline workers and on-field task forces. Similarly, in the world of remote work, the paradigm will shift from weeks of waiting on static reports to advanced insights reaching business users in an autonomous manner. This has the potential to disrupt the existing ecosystem of legacy tools and will bring the much-needed agility and efficiency to business operations.

What lessons did you learn from COVID-19 days? Any advice to data management professionals and analysts?

Pre-COVID reports will be futile in the post-COVID world

Customer behavior and purchase habits have sharply changed as a result of the pandemic. For instance, stringent hygiene requirements led to a surge in demand for household cleaning products. Online shopping became the preferred medium, even though brick-and-mortar shops started reopening. According to FedEx, E-commerce as a percentage of total retail for Q2 calendar year 2020 is estimated at 21% compared to 15% in Q2 2019.

Planning future sales strategies by comparing past data or trends is largely meaningless now. Analytical reports and dashboards, even as recent as 2019, will become useless. The focus will shift to analyzing customer behavior changes in real time to gain actionable insights. Businesses still relying on outdated reports and insights will find it difficult to compete in this dramatically new world.

Also Read: Predictions Series: Interview with Sastry Malladi, CTO at FogHorn

So, you think BI teams would benefit from advanced Data Management and Analytics tools?

Yes, advanced BI will bring step function improvements in TCO

Cost has always been part of every buying decision. It will be even more important in 2021. Organizations will increasingly focus on total cost of ownership (TCO) for existing and new infrastructure investments. Through transparent pricing and lower maintenance costs, advanced BI solutions will offer flexibility, scalability, and a step function improvement in ROI and user adoption.

Your answer to convergence of AI & BI in data science projects –

AI has been part of every corporate discussion over the past 5 years. And yet, challenges persist in democratizing advanced AI insights across large sections of employees. As new AI-powered BI products emerge, silos will be broken and every user will be able to leverage data analytics and find insights easily. Simple interfaces, personalized insights, and engaging data experiences will become the hallmarks of data analytics in 2021 and beyond.

Tell us more about Explanatory search.

Exploratory search will become mainstream

Google organized the world’s information on the internet via an intuitive search-based interface. Interactivity and simplicity of search will drive organizations towards a similar paradigm in the world of enterprise analytics. Exploratory search will become the main interface for analytics. However, not all search platforms are created equal and there will be deeper discussions to evaluate which solutions are truly able to translate intent to insight. The solutions that encourage natural conversations with data will see greater user adoption.

How do you see the rise of interactive AVs for consumer behavior analytics?

Interactive audio-visuals will trend as a popular mode of consuming insights

2020 saw a sharp increase in the use of audio-visual mediums – be it virtual business conferences, live video classrooms, or streaming of new movies and content on on-demand channels. This trend will spur a paradigm shift in the speed and way business users expect to receive real-time insights. Consumption of insights will not be limited to sitting in front of a computer screen and looking at dashboards and reports, like traditional BI experiences. Interactive audio-visuals will narrate insights and present compelling data stories to users, on any device, anywhere. They will add a new dimension to information the way audio books did for traditional books. New, engaging data experiences will make understanding insights fun and easy, thereby increasing user adoption.

What kind of winning equation can businesses build with IT and Hybrid Cloud solutions?

Hybrid cloud solutions will win.

Organizations will increasingly become concerned about the “single cloud lock-in”. They will prefer data warehouse solutions that span across multiple clouds. As part of its IPO documents, Snowflake reported an annual revenue growth rate of 121% which is an order of magnitude faster than single-cloud solutions providers. As data moves to this multi-cloud environment, existing BI tools will stop working from a SQL execution standpoint. This will prompt business leaders to examine and modernize these legacy BI investments.

How would individual product owners fare in 2021 with Cloud and AI solutions?

Individual “users” will drive product choices.

Individual users are exposed to the simplicity and sophistication of consumer technology in their daily lives. This DIY culture fueled by the pandemic will prompt individuals to prefer interacting with data themselves in a friction-less manner. At times, the corporate buying process is driven by bundled pricing offered by large legacy software vendors. This often compromises the quality of purchased products and the experiences they deliver. Expect a grassroots movement led by individual users who will demand easy-to-use quality products inspired by the consumer technology world.

Also Read: Predictions Series: Interview with Senthil Kumar, VP of Software Engineering at FogHorn

Thank you, Dhiren! That was fun and we hope to see you back on soon.

Dhiren Patel is a Chief Product Officer & Head of Customer Success at MachEye

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MachEye is the only personal business companion built for every business user and for all their data. We shatter the barriers that prevent organizations of all sizes from unleashing personalized BI for everyone. With MachEye, enterprises are equipped with a single, integrated platform that delivers insights as interactive audio-visuals, combined with natural search and click-less intelligence. MachEye is built for the cloud with AI as an architecture and discovers secure and governed business insights without limits.

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