Shift Toward Predictive And Prescriptive Analytics Continues
Organisations invest in data analytics becuase it promises to bring competitive advantages, but many of the tools and skill sets needed to scale have been missing or in short supply. Data analysts continue to be a sought-after and expensive resource, and their valuable efforts tend to be relegated to time-consuming tasks such as data selection and data preparation. Conversely, data analysts are in abundant supply in most companies and already know how to address business problems directly, but they lack the technical background required to make the jump from analytics to data science to build their own machine learning models.
AI Services Via APIs
An approach growing in popularity is data analytics services, which are ready-made models available through APIs. Rather than use your own data to build and train models for common activities, organizations can access pre-trained models that accomplish specific tasks. Whether an organization needs natural language processing (NLP), automatic speech recognition (ASR), or image recognition, AI services simply plug-and-play into an application through an API, which requires no involvement from a data scientist. Microsoft and Amazon are just two of the most powerful players out there that provide a portfolio of data services, including data analytics services, designed for developers and data analysts. To illustrate the value, such a service allows an image to be sent from an app through the API to the Azure or Amazon service, which then returns a classification and description of what the image is. These types of utilities not only save time and effort, but they also free up data analysts to focus on building and training models that are highly customized to their business, rather than re-creating commonly used services. Additionally, these kind of cloud technologies provide virtually unlimited amounts of compute resources and enable the elimination of data silos by consolidating data lakes, data warehouses, and data marts for fast, secure, and easy data sharing and analysis in a single location.