Analytics Pros, Speak Up Now & Get Paid


Attention, analytics professionals. Beat the bosses to the punch, and ask for a raise today. Don't wait until after that meeting when your boss, the finance boss, and the boss of bosses (aka CEO) sit around and grumble their way through a bunch of spreadsheets.

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay

You may have heard how the conversation goes, "Well if we give that department 2.5%, then we have to give this department 1.5% to keep us at our 2% average."

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.

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James M. Connolly, Editor of All Analytics

Jim Connolly is a versatile and experienced technology journalist who has reported on IT trends for more than two decades. As editor of All Analytics he writes about the move to big data analytics and data-driven decision making. Over the years he has covered enterprise computing, the PC revolution, client/server, the evolution of the Internet, the rise of web-based business, and IT management. He has covered breaking industry news and has led teams focused on product reviews and technology trends. Throughout his tech journalism career, he has concentrated on serving the information needs of IT decision-makers in large organizations and has worked with those managers to help them learn from their peers and share their experiences in implementing leading-edge technologies through publications including Computerworld. Jim also has helped to launch a technology-focused startup, as one of the founding editors at TechTarget, and has served as editor of an established news organization focused on technology startups and the Boston-area venture capital sector at MassHighTech. A former crime reporter for the Boston Herald, he majored in journalism at Northeastern University.

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Re: "Intelligent Things"
  • 10/31/2016 9:13:01 AM
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@TinyM. The experts that I saw on local TV (Dyn is based an hour away from me) said Dyn probably was targeted because of their portfolio and reach.

Re: "Intelligent Things"
  • 10/30/2016 8:21:43 PM
NO RATINGS

@James ahh, I see. I wonder if the attackers had cable operators in mind or if they just selected Dyn for the impressive customer portfolio. I'm sure other similar services are preparing for election day and other major upcoming events in hopes of mitigating another large scale attack (should it occur).

Re: "Intelligent Things"
  • 10/30/2016 7:39:13 PM
NO RATINGS

@tinym. I don't think it was the NFL that had problems after the Dyn attack. What I saw and heard about had to do with the cable companies, apparently with their feeds from the local stations. I know that in the northeast there were a lot of cable systems that lost access to network affiliates. (i spent a chunk of sunday trying to figure out how to see a specific football game via cable, and the station was unvailable for many hours). A number of other cable carriers ran into similar issues.

Re: "Intelligent Things"
  • 10/30/2016 5:18:25 PM
NO RATINGS

@James I had no idea the NFL had issues with content delivery after the Dyn attack!! DDoS is officially mainstream, I guess. I think we'll see more DDoS attack plot lines in hit shows. They appear once in a while, but I think they'll increase now that the NFL had issues IRL.

Re: "Intelligent Things"
  • 10/30/2016 5:14:05 PM
NO RATINGS

@Pierre I tend to agree with you, not Gartner on terminology. However, the rise of inteilligent things is clearly in our future. Skynet has been online for some time now. Do you think the so-called intelligent things will be guided by Asimov's laws of robotics or skip over that bit to promptly plunge humanity into The Matrix? The future is spooky...

Re: Confidence
  • 10/30/2016 12:02:41 PM
NO RATINGS

Or if the company will even touch these spaces to begin with. Even the most confident and capable data scientist won't be able to argue along these lines if the company has no plans of going into the areas listed here.

Re: "Intelligent Things"
  • 10/29/2016 4:29:11 PM
NO RATINGS

@Jim: Not sure that qualifies as intelligence, though.  They were but the technological equivalent of zombies (or, if you're a Harry Potter fan, inferi).

Re: "Intelligent Things"
  • 10/29/2016 4:28:18 PM
NO RATINGS

@Pierre: Probably Gartner's way of getting people excited about its research by using terminology to suggestively link IoT to AI -- which is much more exciting than regular ol' IoT/merely "smart" devices.

Re: "Intelligent Things"
  • 10/26/2016 8:35:06 AM
NO RATINGS

@Pierre. Well, the IoT devices had enough intelligence to take down much of the Internet on Friday. Of course we worry that such an occurence could hurt us by shutting down health or transportation systems. However, one lingering effect from this outage struck at the heart of what Americans really care about. On Sunday afternoon, some cable companies were still trying to recover and weren't able to deliver the stations that carried NFL football. Oh, the humanity!

 

Re: "Intelligent Things"
  • 10/25/2016 4:22:37 PM
NO RATINGS

I don't know if I agree with gartner's claim that humanity has called IoT devices "intelligent things" - that phrase opens the door for scary terms - "The Rise of Intelligent Things", or "The Curse of Intelligent Things".  

Ok, it's close to Halloween but I do think the term changes a feeling about how people perceive devices. Not sure they are ready for them to be intelligent, even with the signs in the marketplace now.

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