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View from the Summit: Current trends in the world of data and a peek into the future

November 30, 2021

If you talk to any data practitioner today, topics on top of their mind include the evolution of the data stack and emerging trends in the world of data. We wanted to understand the perspectives of Chief Data Officers (CDOs) on these topics as they think about data architectures in the future. At Wrangle Summit 2021, Jill Greenberg — Chief Data Officer at CapitalG, Alphabet’s independent growth fund, shared the perspectives of CDOs based on a survey conducted by CapitalG on the data stack evolution, areas of focus for future innovation, budgets, and a peek into the future around the world of data.

The evolution of the data stack

In the next 5 years, CDOs believe the data stack will change substantially, especially around the areas of infrastructure and usage. They predict data storage will move from being distributed to a central, standardized architecture as many organizations are realizing that siloed and fragmented data sources are hurdles to achieving business insights. Similarly, data access security and control are expected towards a centralized management structure. This will enable better data privacy and help adhere to compliance and regulatory requirements mandated by businesses and governments.

There is a growing trend towards a “single source of truth” for analytics and insights. This is especially true for organizations looking at unified data transformation tooling as multiple teams need to leverage similar transformations rather than working in silos. This also results in a standardized approach to data transformation that is used by data practitioners across teams. On the other hand, data accessibility is expected to transition to a more distributed, self-service model to help provide easier access to data enabling broader usage among teams.

Emerging trends for data

Key areas of focus for innovation for CDOs include smart analytics, data transformation and orchestration, and real-time data streaming. The primary motivation behind these focus areas is to achieve advanced insights quickly and accurately. Smart analytics allows you to achieve intelligent insights in real-time compared to manual methods of combing through data to get foundational insights. One of the inputs towards smart analytics is data transformation and orchestration. This is key to presenting a unified view of the required data in a single place and helps drive smart analytics in a timely and reliable manner. Streaming data is gaining traction in many business applications and getting it in real-time is critical for delivering analytics for these applications.

Investing in research and development into these areas requires either re-allocation or new allocation of budgets. To accelerate innovation, there is a need to re-allocate existing budgets from investments into constructs such as traditional data warehouses into the continuously evolving modern data stack. Additionally, CDOs plan to allocate additional budgets for technologies such as AI/ML that are expected to accelerate these future trends. Investments in these technologies are expected to deliver a higher ROI and drive strategy in the future.

Through the Looking Glass

Speaking of the future, getting more data and insights into the hands of business users will be common, according to many CDOs who were asked about their predictions. The continued evolution of the data stack will enable greater flexibility, faster time to value, and greater control over the most important asset treasured by organizations, namely data. This resonates with Trifacta’s view of the future and we’re excited to work with CDOs and organizations in this journey.

Now it’s Your Turn

How do you see your data stack evolving to cater to your business needs? Please share your thoughts with me at