As we step into 2024, AI and data science continue to make headlines, with crucial insights for industry leaders. In a recent survey involving over 500 senior executives, including participants from MIT’s Chief Data Officer and Information Quality Symposium, sponsored by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Thoughtworks, the following key trends demand attention:
Generative AI's Potential: While generative AI has garnered significant attention, the focus now shifts to delivering tangible value. Despite high excitement levels, the surveys indicate that organizations are still in the experimental phase, with only a small percentage having production applications. The journey towards value entails
Data Science Industrialization: The production of data science models is transitioning from an artisanal process to an industrialized approach. Companies are investing in platforms, methodologies, and tools to enhance productivity and deployment rates. Automation, especially through machine learning operations (MLOps) systems, is playing a crucial role in streamlining processes and increasing data science participation.
Evolution of Data Products: Data science leaders are increasingly considering data products and data product management, with two distinct perspectives. While 48% include analytics and AI capabilities in their definition of data products, 30% view them as separate entities. Clarity in defining and discussing data products becomes crucial to avoid confusion among development teams.
Changing Dynamics of Data Scientists: The once 'sexy' role of data scientists is witnessing a shift, with the emergence of alternative roles and the rise of citizen data science. Various professionals, including data engineers, machine learning engineers, and data product managers, are taking on specialized tasks. Citizen data scientists are leveraging automated machine learning tools, reducing the exclusive demand for professional data scientists.
Integration of Leadership Roles: Organizations are reevaluating the role of technology and data chiefs, with a move towards consolidation. The trend indicates a shift from standalone chief data and analytics officers to a broader technology and digital transformation role, often under a 'supertech leader.' This evolution aims to enhance collaboration, streamline tech-oriented services, and create value from data and technology.