A new decade offers a natural inflection point around business transformation – transformation that is increasingly being fueled by informed, real-time business decisions. As brands face a 2020 reality check and use this year to hone their next-decade strategy, investments in emerging and evolving trends and technologies are giving many organizations a competitive edge. Here are 10 to watch in 2020:

1: Deep Learning Delivers a Competitive Advantage

In 10 Enterprise Analytics Trends to Watch in 2020, Frank Bernhard, author of the upcoming book SHAPE – Digital Strategy by Data & Analytics, notes that in 2020, deep learning should no longer be considered a buzzword, but a “tempest disruptor in how companies will perform with intelligence against their competitors.” Enabling largely unsupervised learning against unstructured data to return hidden signals, deep learning will free up the time of in-demand data scientists to connect insights to action.

2: AutoML Improves the ROI of Data Science Initiatives

Analyst Marcus Borba says Auto machine learning (AutoML), the ability to automate the entire process of developing and managing machine learning models, will also help data scientists focus on what matters versus the mundane. In addition, it will help prevent errors, as well as make machine learning capabilities accessible to more employees across the enterprise – accelerating success and productivity.

3: The Semantic Graph Becomes Paramount to Delivering Business Value

With IDC predicting the global datasphere to balloon to 175 zettabytes by 2025, deriving business value from data is becoming increasingly difficult given the complexity of the data landscape, the need for data governance and the resulting higher costs of analysis.

Former Gartner analyst Roxane Edjlali notes that while increasing data literacy skills across the organization will help, the growing complexity of the data landscape will quickly overwhelm the skills of even the most sophisticated enterprise users. Enter the semantic graph to serve as a foundational organizer, connector, and recommendations engine, which will become smarter over both usage and time, empowering the data-driven enterprise.

4: Human Insights Becomes More Important as Data Volumes Increase

While it’s easy to believe that artificial intelligence will be the key to the future of all enterprise data analysis and decision making, IDC Research Director Chandana Gopal says not so fast. Equally important will be the human oversight and insight needed to understand the context and reasoning behind the AI-performed analysis, as well as the recommendations and decisions delivered.

5: Next-gen Embedded Analytics Speeds Time to Insights

Constellation Research VP and Principal Analyst Doug Henschen notes one of the top trends to watch in 2020 is the emergence of next-generation embedded analytics that are set to finally make insights available to every employee.

MicroStrategy’s 2020 Global State of Enterprise Analytics survey found that currently, just 3% of employees are able to access analytics insights within seconds to make a real-time data-driven decision. Henschen says this will all change when the next generation of embedded analytics gives workers the information they need in the context of decision points – without having to switch applications.

6: The Need to Combine Data Sources Continues to Grow

Going back to IDC’s prediction of 175 zettabytes of data by 2025 (one zettabyte equals roughly one trillion gigabytes), Ventana Research SVP and Principal Analyst David Menninger advises organizations to invest in techniques and technology that combine an enterprise’s data sources (cloud and on-premise, data in different tools, etc.). Menninger says moving ahead, “those organizations that adopt a shared fabric among their data and analytics technologies will have an advantage over those that retain a siloed approach.”

7: Data-driven Up-skilling Becomes an Enterprise Requirement

Not all enterprise analytics trends involve technology. Talent is a huge concern, as well – or the lack thereof. In its recent Future of Jobs report, the World Economic Foundation put data analysts and scientists at the top of its list of 20-plus in-demand roles.

The WEF also predicts that by 2022, more than half of all employees will need new skills and training to adapt to the future of work. MicroStrategy EVP of Education Hugh Owen notes that brands shouldn’t focus solely on hiring talent – they should equally focus on education, re-skilling and up-skilling for current employees as the need for data-driven decision making increases, and the shortage of talent grows.

8: AI is Real and Ready

There is no way around AI as a future enterprise investment, and Forrester Research analysts say 2020 is the year for senior leaders to be bold. In their Predictions 2020 report, the analysts note that “confident CDAOs and CIOs will see to it that data science teams have what they need in terms of data so that they can spend 70%, 80% or 90% of their time actually modeling for AI use cases.

“While external market events in 2020 may tempt companies to play it safe with AI, the courageous ones will continue to invest,” notes Forrester.

9: Mobile Intelligence Evolves for 2020 and Beyond

While a focus on mobile may seem so turn of the century, Ventana Research CEO Mark Smith says in 2020, “mobile computing will re-emerge as one of the most significant technology opportunities in the next decade.” The potential associated with voice assistants, identity, augmented reality, wearables and more will all make what seemed an old enterprise technology focus new again.

10: The Future of Experience Management is Powered by AI

Constellation Research founder, Disrupting Digital Business author, and futurist Ray Wang notes in the next decade, successful AI-driven smart services will augment human intelligence just as machines augmented physical capabilities in the 20th century. For enterprise organizations, “AI-driven smart services play a key role in crafting and addressing the never-ending battle to meet customer expectations by reducing errors, improving decision-making speed, identifying demand signals, predicting outcomes” – and delivering next best actions, says Wang.

Read more analyst and influencer insights and advice on the trends above in 10 Enterprise Analytics Trends to Watch in 2020.