Take this Gartner press release listing the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017, march into your boss's office and say, "Look how valuable I am. Data and analytics are at the heart of what we have to do in 2017."
Just don't mention that Gartner probably picked these trends that represent what you could be doing in an ideal world -- one where everyone has unlimited resources and embraces Gartner's vision for the "Intelligent Digital Mesh" -- and not what your organization is likely to do in the real world. We'll keep that part just between us.
"Gartner's top 10 strategic technology trends for 2017 set the stage for the Intelligent Digital Mesh," said David Cearley, vice president and Gartner Fellow, in the release. "The first three embrace 'Intelligence Everywhere,' how data science technologies and approaches are evolving to include advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence allowing the creation of intelligent physical and software-based systems that are programmed to learn and adapt. The next three trends focus on the digital world and how the physical and digital worlds are becoming more intertwined. The last four trends focus on the mesh of platforms and services needed to deliver the intelligent digital mesh."
Actually, the first three trends are going nowhere without the help of skilled data professionals.
- AI and Advanced Machine Learning. You know there's a lot of business interest in what AI and machine learning can do in terms of automation, particularly in areas such as knowledge management, training, help desk, and (medical) research. If, as I discussed recently in AI: Doomed to Buzzword Status, AI does become a buzzword, you and your paycheck want to be positioned to take advantage.
- Intelligent Apps. Gartner is talking about applications such as "virtual personal assistant" and "virtual customer assistant". In any case, the intelligence in those apps will come about via your work with data analytics and algorithms. Cearley added, "Over the next 10 years, virtually every app, application and service will incorporate some level of AI. This will form a long-term trend that will continually evolve and expand the application of AI and machine learning for apps and services."
- Intelligent Things. In making your case for the value of the analytics team on this one, stick with what the rest of humanity has been calling "intelligent things," and that is the Internet of Things. Bosses up and down the food chain finally have figured out the basics of what IoT means. Don't confuse them.
The list goes on. Your data skills will contribute to the trends mentioned throughout the Gartner list: Virtual reality; advanced sensor technology; chatbots; advanced networking technologies; digital business models based on AI and IoT; and adaptive security technologies.
Let's face it, as a data analytics/data science professional you can bring value to the table. Shout it loud and clear, but move fast because pretty soon the big bosses are going to assign people to the 1.5% raise (or worse) group. You want them to know what you are really worth.
Of course, if your meeting with El Bosso doesn't go well, just forget that I'm the one who sent you.