At the beginning of the month, I had the pleasure of attending the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit in Grapevine, TX. I was particularly interested in hearing about latest trends as well as about the Gartner maturity model for analytics (since our own dbSeer framework for analytics is based on the model).

It was most interesting to hear where organizations today fall in the different phases of this maturity model: 74% of organizations currently have Descriptive Analytics, 34% have Diagnostic Analytics, 11% have Predictive, and only 1% has Prescriptive. However, Gartner notes that the market is changing rapidly, predicting a growing trend toward Predictive and Prescriptive Reporting in the next 3-5 years.

Here’s a more detailed recap of how Gartner defines these four different phases:

Descriptive
What is the Descriptive approach? This approach provide trends and information on historical data and answers the question, “What happened?”
What does it provide? It can be used to monitor the past and provides consistent and credible reporting. The data is governed and the reports are based on a predefined set of KPIs.
What kinds of analytic capabilities are used? Reports, Dashboards, and OLAP are the most common analytic capabilities used to monitor the data.
What process and governance does this architecture require? Collect the user requirements, prepare the backend data models, and create the front-end visualizations and reports.
What roles in the organization consume or create these types of reports/dashboards? Data Architect, BI Developer, Information Consumer

Diagnostic
What is the Diagnostic approach? This approach helps explore historical data to answer the question “Why did it happen?”
What does it provide? It can help us to be more agile and look more at insights that the data provides. It directs you to investigate KPIs or review how KPI values were derived.
What kinds of analytic capabilities are used? Self-service reporting, data discovery, self-service data preparation are some of the approaches to explore the data.
What process and governance does this architecture require? Give analysts access to data models, provide a process to certify data, and train analysts on data models and provide support.
What roles in the organization consume or create these types analytics? Analyst, Data Quality Manager, Analytics Support Expert, Data Engineer

Predictive
What is the Predictive Approach? This approach helps in forecasting trends based on historical data and patterns and helps to answer the question, “What will happen?”
What does it provide? More advanced analytics where machine learning has been applied to predict outcomes based on historical trends and discovered insights.
What kinds of analytic capabilities are used? Big data discovery, predictive modeling, graph analysis, behavioral analytics (used to investigate and predict).
What process and governance does this architecture require? Collecting and processing complex and vast data sets, iterating & optimizing analytic models, confirming predictions with business users.
What roles in the organization consume or create these types of reports/dashboards? Data Scientist, Data Steward, Analytics Enterprise Architect

Prescriptive
What is the Prescriptive approach? – This approach is based on predictive data and models to provide and/or automate a set of actions and to help answer the question, “What should I do?”
What does it provide? Decision support & automation to optimize, actions for prescription, automation and industrialization.
What kinds of capabilities are used? Prescriptive engines, simulation & optimization engines (used to prescribe actions and these could be industrialized).
What process and governance does this architecture require? Optimizing business processes and automating analytical models.
What roles in the organization consume or create these types of reports/dashboards? Analytics Project Manager, Analytics System Integrator.

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