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3 Trends for Data Analytics in 2021: No-Coding Storytelling, Data Sharing, and 3D Visualization

We are witnessing three trends that are gaining momentum in the industry: no-coding, enhanced data sharing, and the growing popularity of tools for 3D data visualization of geolocation data.

In 2020, we find ourselves in a rather paradoxical place. On the one hand, we are ordered to socially distance to withstand the global health crisis. On the other, the hyperconnected world allows us to collaborate even faster and more efficiently, sharing information and ideas across the world from the comfort of our homes. This, in turn, urges industries to come up with tools to help us better explain concepts and enable each specialist to make a valid contribution.

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These developments definitely didn't emerge just this year, but now they are shaping many aspects of business and life, and data analytics is no exception. Today, we are witnessing three trends that are gaining momentum in the industry: no-coding, enhanced data sharing, and the growing popularity of tools for 3D data visualization of geolocation data.

Trend #`1: No-code interactive dashboards for data storytelling

No-code and low-code platforms have become a highly discussed technology that has gained the attention of tech communities and sizable investments into startups offering such solutions. However, it's not just startups that are working on these tools. Claris, owned by Apple, also aims to offer "powerful technology accessible to everyone."

Companies delivering such tools kill two birds with one stone. Product teams and developers are freed from the tedious work of manually writing code for each interaction while it paves the way for "non-technical" people to contribute to those projects.

It's hard to overestimate the value of these sorts of tools for businesses, especially when it comes to interactive dashboards for data storytelling. Data analysts are able to run pattern analysis and enjoy customized visualization almost instantly without coding. From our own experiences, we see that more than 75 percent of requests are focused on no-code analytics and visualization, a trend driven by organizations looking for ways to adopt a fast-paced workflow without hiring extra specialists.

Interestingly, even when there are applications for data stories, which offer comprehensive explanations behind the data changes, enterprises are still inclined to use dashboards, which only track and display data points.

Trend #2: Faster and smoother data sharing

Sharing is caring. In the case of data, sharing also means collaboration and growth. However, issues with data safety have raised government concerns, which have resulted in multiple privacy laws. These make organizations legally bound to utilize users' data securely -- under the threat of fines, lawsuits, and site prohibitions.

As a result, when data can be shared quickly, smoothly, and without risks, it turns business owners' heads and makes investors reach into their pockets. The need for solutions for rapid and easy data sharing is vividly illustrated by well-funded startups focusing on file transfers.

Also, our findings in Aspectum's GIS Community Insights 2020 demonstrate an increasing interest for location intelligence solutions that could incorporate multiple data streams. The key requirement, along with security and reliability, is accessibility in just a few clicks. Notably, there's a demand for tools that can be effortlessly accessed by both programmers and analysts.

Dataflow restrictions shouldn't be the only factor that defines the development of data processing. There's also a need to address the issue of data monopolies -- when a small number of companies control the vast majority of internet data. It's important for industry players and governments to work together to develop data infrastructures that allow organizations, as well as individual users, to have full control over their data, including safe ways for sharing it.

Trend #3: Moving faster towards 3D visualization

As the number of information sources and sophisticated analytics tools grows, so does the complexity of business processes. The demand to prevent these trends from becoming a handicap paves the way for the rapid adoption of 3D visualization solutions. This tool has already proven to be especially effective for companies that process geospatial data and combine classical analytics with location monitoring.

By the year 2025, the 3D rendering market is estimated to grow up to $6 billion, considering the interest in 3D visualizations of both outdoor and indoor areas. Trying to combine all layers including LiDAR (light detection and ranging) data, companies, government organizations, and utility providers are looking closer at smart solutions. One of those are digital twins, virtual replicas created with data technology. They are used for enhancing environmental performance and productivity as well as for investigating locations without risking employees' well-being.

The problem with traditional 2D data presentation is the limitation of how much information it bears and how much of it can be actually used. Many insights remain untapped, hidden under the layers of charts, bars, and pies. However, displaying data in three dimensions can lead to revealing geospatial information that can help businesses derive insights and uncover new business opportunities. It enables leaders and professionals to look into not only "what is" but also investigate and predict the answers to "what if" and "what will" questions.

Final Thoughts

Staying optimistic, we believe the challenges facing the world this year will soon become history. However, these events will likely accelerate the ongoing trends we've mentioned. Working remotely, as well as long-distance team collaboration, will increase the importance of safe and effortless data sharing, 3D visualization of geospatial information, and the popularity of solutions that allow a larger number of specialists to use data analytics tools without coding.

About the Author

Artem Berehovyi is the chief business development officer (CBDO) at Aspectum where he is responsible for the delivery of cutting-edge technology into business processes of smart city, transportation, real estate, and consultancy industries. You can reach the author via email or LinkedIn.

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