Key takeaways from the 2022 Gartner Data & Analytics Summit, Orlando

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Fresh from attending one of the biggest data and analytics events of the year, I am still reeling from the possibilities on display. This was my first in-person event in more than two years, and the atmosphere was electric—connecting and networking with like-minded data nerds was amazing. The best part: decision intelligence was at the heart of the event!

The event presented a remarkable synthesis of what’s happening in the data and analytics world and how organizations need to consider new perspectives in D&A and design better decisions in a world of perpetual change. With this year’s theme of “Unleash Innovation & Transform Uncertainty”, the event made it clear: organizations that cannot or will not change are risking their existence in today’s world.

In the opening keynote, Debra Logan (Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner) and Gareth Herschel (VP Analyst at Gartner) talked about how organizations can consider new perspectives in D&A and design better decisions in a world of perpetual change. Data needs to drive business results. But how do you arrive at that end state? And how do you transform data from a liability into an asset?

“We don’t need lots of data. We need the right data, the data that makes us smarter.”

Along these lines, here are my key takeaways from the summit:

  • Analytics is both an art and a science: In science, we strive to continuously improve and refine our understanding of a phenomenon. When analyzing data it’s easy to get bogged down in the refinement process—in search of the elusive perfect answer. Which is where the art of data analysis comes into play—it’s more productive from a decisioning standpoint to ask the right questions and understand when the answers are good enough. Become a “Decision Designer” to accelerate decisions and deliver insights at the right time.
  • The “franchise model” is the future of self-service analytics: Building a self-service analytics franchise is an intriguing new approach to resolving the age-old data and analytics debate between control and freedom. Analogous to the business franchise model, an analytics franchise brings a globally consistent “brand” (decision intelligence product) to each local market (BUs/functions/teams) in a way that empowers decentralized teams. Self-service analytics is truly a team sport.
  • Decision intelligence to the rescue for decision makers: The thing that resonated most with me was that in spite of the influx of new ABI technology, decision makers are left to fend for themselves when it comes to understanding timely, context-rich decision-related insights. Decision intelligence powered by democratised access to timely insights and effective data storytelling spanning the visual depictions of “Everything you can know” to a visual experience of “Everything you can do”—is the only way forward.

    My presentation at the Gartner Showfloor Showdown also emphasised the need to reduce the gap between data and decisions using decision intelligence. You can watch how Lumin analysed UN sustainability data on renewable energy generation and read the key insights here.
  • Rise of Data Fabric and Data Mesh: Data fabric and data mesh are popular new design concepts that were engrained in virtually every session and conversation. Gartner’s advice—to not look for data fabric “platforms” but instead look for composable, tightly integrated, robust, yet loosely coupled modules that share ‘active’ metadata—resonated.

It’s clear from this year’s Summit that data and analytics is in an exciting place. After the unprecedented pandemic and economic upheaval, it’s great to see that data leaders are raring to face ‘uncertainty’ head-on and reverse past disruptions with new levels of innovation and impact.

I can’t wait to see where we go from here and how far we’ll progress when next year’s D&A summit rolls around!


Ashish Rishi

Chief Product Officer, Fosfor

An analytics entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience spanning analytics consulting and building analytics embedded products, Ashish believes in the power of AI and machine learning and wants to empower businesses with advanced analytics and actionable insights

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