David Menninger's Analyst Perspectives

Analytics in 2020: Ventana Research Agenda

Posted by David Menninger on Feb 18, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Ventana Research recently announced its 2020 research agenda for analytics, continuing the guidance we’ve offered for nearly two decades to help organizations derive optimal value from2020 Research Agenda Logo their technology investments and improve business outcomes.

It’s been exciting to follow the emergence of innovative capabilities in the analytics market, but for businesses it can be challenging to stay on top of all these changes. To help, we craft our research agenda using our firm’s knowledge of technology vendors and products and our experience with and expertise on business requirements.

Thanks to our ongoing market research we are able to offer insights and best practices to both the lines of business and IT that will help any organization understand this dynamic market segment and use these technologies to reach its maximum potential.

Our analytics practice encompasses six focus areas: artificial intelligence and machine learning, business intelligence, collaboration, embedded analytics, the internet of things and natural language processing. Here’s our view of how each of these areas will advance in 2020.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI, machine learning (ML) and natural language processing are transforming analytics. Opportunities to take advantage of these technologies will continue to increase over the coming year as vendors automate more of the AI/ML process. Our research this year will explore to what extent these advances reduce the skills needed to reap the full benefits artificial intelligence and machine learning. For an assessment of how your organization stacks up in its use of this technology, take our short Dynamic Insights survey on machine learning.

Business Intelligence

Business intelligence produces insights from data to guide decision-making with an increasing variety of analytic, presentation and deployment techniques. It’s important for organizations to focus on data in motion rather than just data at rest to gain more value from BI. This brings analytics closer to operational activities and processes and better supports users in their functional roles. This year we will continue to studyVentana_Research_2020_Assertion_Analytics how well organizations are keeping up with these advances.


Collaboration provides methods for people to interact digitally on any device for any purpose. Interactive social media has conditioned the market to expect and embrace collaboration. Collaboration will enhance information sharing in analytics processes as comments and ratings are associated with data sources, analyses and contributors. It’s becoming increasingly essential that organizations deploy collaboration technologies to put analytics into action across the business.

Embedded Analytics

Analytics are becoming more and more integral to business processes and applications and thus are increasingly being embedded within them. Organizations will be able to operationalize more analytics when they’re embedded in business processes. Application vendors in 2020 will continue to refine analytics embedded within their applications as BI vendors hone their APIs enabling custom and embedded analytics.

Internet of Things

IoT devices and sensors transmit data that enables new business services and operational improvements. An increasing number of devices are instrumented and connected to generate data and organizations this year will face pressure to utilize machine learning with IoT data to enable operational intelligence. Furthermore, big data and streaming technologies combined with data science enable continuous analytics. Ventana_Research_2020_Assertion_Embedded_AnalyticsWe are conducting continuous benchmark research on the internet of things and will publish findings later this year.

Natural Language Processing

NLP includes the process of generating narratives based on a set of data values and using text and voice as inputs to access information. Conversational computing is becoming an increasingly common part of user interfaces. Smart speakers and mobile assistants are piquing consumer interest in natural language capabilities. Machine learning will enhance natural language processing by constantly improving recognition of spoken or written input, making it more accurate and easier to use over time. This year we are launching Dynamic Insights research to study the advance of these capabilities and how organizations are using natural language technology.

Analytics is having a major impact across lines of business. It’s changing the customer experience, allowing organizations to use data to improve operations and optimize engagement. It’s transforming the Office of Finance, providing insights on performance and enabling more forward-looking planning, as well as improving hiring and retention as part of human capital management processes. Sales, marketing and supply chain functions also stand to benefit from the context and guidance that well-implemented analytics can provide. As we begin a new decade, we are closer than ever to helping organizations realize the value of the data they collect to improve their operations.

We encourage you to participate in our research studies listed on the right. Subscribe to our community to keep up to date on our research efforts in 2020 and come to our analytics expertise and topic areas to see a detailed agenda, our continuously updated 90-day research calendar as well as more research facts and best practices.

David Menninger

Topics: embedded analytics, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Collaboration, Internet of Things, natural language processing, AI and Machine Learning

David Menninger

Written by David Menninger

David is responsible for the overall research direction of data, information and analytics technologies at Ventana Research covering major areas including Analytics, Big Data, Business Intelligence and Information Management along with the additional specific research categories including Information Applications, IT Performance Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence and IoT, and Data Science. David is also responsible for examining the role of cloud computing, collaboration and mobile technologies as they affect these areas. David brings to Ventana Research over twenty-five years of experience, through which he has marketed and brought to market some of the leading edge technologies for helping organizations analyze data to support a range of action-taking and decision-making processes. Prior to joining Ventana Research, David was the Head of Business Development & Strategy at Pivotal a division of EMC, VP of Marketing and Product Management at Vertica Systems, VP of Marketing and Product Management at Oracle, Applix, InforSense and IRI Software. David earned his MS in Business from Bentley University and a BS in Economics from University of Pennsylvania.