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Silicon Angle: 2015 Technology Predictions: PROS Holdings on Big Data

December 22, 2014-

By Suzanne Kattau

As 2014 nears its end, it’s the perfect time for our second annual Technology Predictions series in which industry experts share their predictions about the hot tech trends that they think will take center stage in 2015. We’ll be sharing all of these predictions with you over the next couple of weeks.

This next set of 2015 Technology Predictions on Big Data comes jointly from Neil Biehn (VP of Data Science and Research) and Craig Zawada (Chief Visionary Officer) of PROS Holdings, Inc., a Big Data software company that says it helps customers outperform in their markets by using Big Data to sell more effectively.

Prediction No. 1: “Big Data” becomes a term of the past

In 2015, we’ll see the buzz term “Big Data” significantly erode and begin to vanish. In contrast, we’ll see increased focus on the hidden assets found in data using predictive and prescriptive analytics. It’s these analytics that provide actual business value and help companies make smarter decisions about how to better engage with customers and drive top-line revenue. CEOs are looking not for more data but how they can connect data with predictive and prescriptive insights to capture strategic business value resident in their systems. –Biehn

Prediction No. 2: “Data science” becomes science

Over the past few years, we’ve seen the term “data science” associated primarily with tools and software technology. In 2015, we expect a return to its scientific roots: listening closely to the business in order to hypothesize potential solutions, testing those hypotheses with data, observing their outcomes, and finally, recommending a solution. We see a big shift from buzz words and technology platforms into the fundamental principles of the scientific method. –Biehn

Prediction No. 3: In 2015, if you’re not using Big Data analytics, you’re behind the competitive curve

The amount of data in corporate infrastructures grows every year, both in volume and in complexity. In 2015, if companies aren’t using prescriptive and predictive analytics to take advantage of the strategic assets resident in their vast array of systems, they’ll lose their ability to compete and win. The art of doing business grows in complexity every year, and prescriptive and predictive analytics are now table stakes. –Biehn

Prediction No. 4: Chief Data Officers (CDOs) aren’t the norm outside of Silicon Valley but data governance is

Data-driven Silicon Valley organizations such as Yahoo, Inc. and even the City of San Francisco have paved the way for the emerging CDO role. Beyond the Valley, you may not find many CDOs but we will see a big increase in the need for more data governance in 2015 as data moves from an opportunity to an asset. –Biehn

Prediction No. 5: Increased investment in predictive analytics for sales teams in 2015

The sales role has never been more complex and the coming year will bring even more challenges. Procurement organizations will increase their negotiation tactics and continue ever harder to hammer sales teams to lower prices. In 2015, companies that invest in predictive and prescriptive analytics will arm their sales teams with better selling data, enabling them to negotiate with greater confidence and drive wins with increased revenue and higher profitability. –Zawada

Prediction No. 6: Big Data will evolve in 2015 as companies look for new levers to eliminate data complexity

Companies have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to drive both manufacturing and financial performance. They’re sitting on petabytes of structured data and are looking to harness insights that produce real revenue value. In 2015, they’ll finally view data as an undervalued asset–not unlike an underutilized plant–and will invest in predictive and prescriptive analytics as levers to drive profitability. With these analytics, they’ll be able to understand true customer economics, the cost to serve each customer, and new opportunities to segment customers, enabling them to identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities for each customer in their portfolio. –Zawada

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