The IT trend making the biggest impact on corporate and government strategy is the rise of analytics, particularly advanced statistical and predictive analytics. Once an elite niche affordable only to the largest enterprises, advanced analytics are being embraced more broadly by way of analytic applications, embedded BI, and prebuilt data models and analyses. The trend goes hand in hand with interest in using large data sets (also known as "big data") to foresee risk, anticipate customer demand, and formulate more successful product and service offerings.
Indeed, the old practice of following the money--using lagging financial indicators to guide decisions--is giving way to the forward-looking approach of following the data. Organizations are gathering, managing, and analyzing more information and more types of information, all with the idea of using advanced predictive and statistical analytics to improve internal operations, get closer to customers, sell and market products more effectively across physical and digital commerce channels, and outperform the competition.