Monday, December 30, 2013

Four Trends That Will Shape 2014

My favorite part of being CEO of Jaspersoft is spending time directly with our customers and partners.  I learn so much about how we are succeeding together and what Jaspersoft can do better to help them succeed more fully.  Learning from our customers is a passion at Jaspersoft.  We all take notes from our customer discussions and share them throughout the company in an effort to constantly grow our understanding and push us forward.  Their plans and ideas become our ambitions - to create a far better approach to the next generation of reporting and analytics.  Our hope and intention is that our customers will be compelled to rely on Jaspersoft for a continually larger portion of their projects and needs.

From my many travels and conversations in 2013, I've synthesized four primary trends that I believe will make 2014 a transformative year for reporting and analytics.  Think of this as my travel log and diary distilled into a short, easily readable series of blog posts.  I invite you to follow this short series, starting with my first installment here.  Your comments and ideas will surely help shape not only my perspective on the future of reporting and analytics, but Jaspersoft's product priorities as well.  I look forward to the on-going dialog and I thank our customers and partners for their business and
partnership, which mean everything to us.

Trend #1:  Forget Sentiment Analysis, Sensors + Software Will Change the World

Much of the Big Data hype has focused on social media and sentiment analysis, in an effort to get closer to the customer and better understand the market in which an organization competes.  While this is a valid goal, relatively few organizations will find both the skill and useful data patterns that add up to a material top-line difference.

Instead, the focus should be on the “Internet of Things”, for the transformative power it represents.  Every day, I see more powerful examples of sensors and software in action.  I prefer to describe it as “sensors + software” because these terms better symbolize the grittier, more real-world value that can be delivered by measuring, monitoring and better managing vast amounts of sensor-generated data. Why is this important in 2014?  Firstly, sensor technology has become remarkably low cost (an RFID tag, for instance, can cost as little as 50 cents, according to this report - which means more data points).  Secondly, the data storage and analytic technology to capture and analyze this data is incredibly low cost and widely available (often in open source editions). Lastly, sensor-based data is well suited for correlation analysis, rather than looking strictly for causation, which increases the potential for finding value among this machine-generated data.

Analyst predictions are vast for the economic and far-reaching value of making “Things” smarter and connecting them to the Internet.  Why limit analysis to the words and attitudes of a relatively vocal few (social media and sentiment analysis), when you can analyze the actual behavior of a much larger population (sensor data)? So, I believe a quiet revolution is already underway.  In 2014, sensors + software will change the world.

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