Gartner IT Symposium in Barcelona

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Ginkgo Analytics has been recognized by Gartner and has received an invitation to the IT Symposium in Barcelona. With more than 7.000 CxOs the symposium is one of the largest gatherings of IT executives in Europe and provided a great opportunity to connect with peers and analysts. I am happy to share the insights and highlights of three intense days.

Gartner Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends

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Gartner presented the top 10 data and analytics trends that have disruptive potential over the next three to five years. These are: Augmented analytics, augmented data management, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and conversional analytics, Graph analytics, Commercial AI and machine learning, Data fabric, Explainable AI, Blockchain in data and analytics, Continuous intelligence, Persistent memory servers. Details are shared online: https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/gartner-top-10-data-analytics-trends/

While a agree with most of them – some are a bit over-optimistic from my point of view and more a wishlist, than a trend. For example augmented analytics has been highlighted in several presentations and I think this is a great vision and definitely help to democratize data and analytics. However the solutions we have seen so far are not capable to automatically extract insights from multiple data sources. Replacing the creativity of a skilled data scientist by AI will require some fundamental research in machine learning and deep learning. However I fully believe, that simple use cases can be implemented automatically.

The Maersk digital voyage

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Maersk started the digitalization journey in 2013, after an analysis if the own business can be disrupted by other companies. Their digital strategy targeted customer experience and cost optimization. Most impressively, Maersk picked up a high speed after being hacked and all of their infrastructure was left useless. They were forced to rebuild to whole infrastructure – it took them 2 weeks to bring back the business services. Luckily there was a power outage in Ghana, which saved the last intact servers, e.g. the active directory. This episode offered the opportunity to get rid of the technical debths.

Today Maersk runs autonomous ports by using sensors and data. One crane operator can operate up to eight cranes. The most interesting initiative is to get more commitment into the shipping transportation, by using self-service portals and AI to offer prices for a specific shipment. This led to an increase of 8% in revenue. In addition, fuel efficiency has been increased by 14% by providing real-time information to captains. In a highly competitive market environment this means a lot.

A few success factors have been insourcing of work to get more transformation at the same price, diversity and cultural change to disrupt thinking, the shift from projects to products and the shift to the cloud and a strong architecture as a prerequisite to enable agile, decentral development of digital products that please and excite customers.

Airbus makes it fly with agile

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Airbus operates in a highly complex environment. There are more than 3.000 suppliers required to build a single aircraft. Software to maintain different aircraft types is partly from the 80s. There is a huge amount of applications, which all need to be integrated. At the same time the production speed for new aircrafts has to be increase to meet the demand.

Airbus transformed the complete IT organization from project-centric to product-centric. Their Skywise platform has been completely re-designed and moved to the cloud to enable the digitization of different business processes. From all data sources a standardized data model has been created. A key success factor was, that multi-disciplinary product teams (integrated teams with the business) are fully accountable for their products, from the first idea to the productive service.  Safe is used to rapidly deliver in large teams.

A few lessons learned are the importance of digital continuity, internal before external, agile at scale from day one and the protection of the agile team by involvement of the management.

The present and the future of artificial intelligence

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Gartner confirmed the findings from our AI study early this year. Only 19% all companies have already deployed AI. The top 3 barriers are skills of staff, data scope or quality and understanding AI benefits and uses. Details are shared online: https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/3-barriers-to-ai-adoption/

Gartner also confirmed our recommendation to start with small use cases and learn iteratively what AI can do and how to implement it in the company. According to Gartner in the future AI will enable a small-town experience in a large city by providing individual communication and recommendations. This is fostered by implementing an AI Center of Excellence in the organization.

How to use AI to Create the Customer Experience of the Future

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One of the most enjoyable talks was around AI and customer experience. If you have not seen the clip – highly recommended: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwPtcqcqz00&feature=share

For customer experience Gartner introduced a simplified CRISP-DM which includes Sense (understand the customer), Think (predict an outcome) and Do (take informed action) which are included into a continuous learning loop. An interesting aspect was that emotion AI can be used to read and understand people’s emotions, leaving to a situation in 2022 where our phones know more about our emotions than our family does. But, do we want this?

Keynote: Lessons from the Science of Timing

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Never go to the hospital in the afternoon. That was the essence of a great talk from Daniel Pink. By using fact based evidence, he clearly showed that there is a difference on the outcome, depending on the timing. E.g. the risk of getting infected in a hospital rises over the day.

Applied to the daily work, his recommendation is to move analytical task to the peak (mostly morning), administrative tasks to the trough (mostly mid-day) and insight tasks to the recovery (mostly afternoon).

But the key question that was driving me nuts was: Why did Gartner put a notebook into the giveaway bag, but no pen? 

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