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There's a widely-held belief that the more data your company has, the better. Data, the thinking goes, inevitably leads to insights about customers and employees that will set your company on the path to maximum profitability. But this assumption has its flaws. First, many organizations are drowning in data, lacking the storage infrastructure and analytical tools to manage it. Second, while data may reveal specific patterns, it does not explain why those patterns exist.

The ability to analyze this data—identifying causes behind patterns and using that to tell a larger story—leads to insights that can put a company on the road to success. And technology can help employees leverage their analytical skills to interpret data effectively. John Sumser, principal analyst at HR Examiner, believes that the improvement of analytics software in the next 15 years will further elevate those human responsibilities.

In this video, Sumser makes three optimistic predictions for the future of work.

1) Time-consuming administrative work, like manual data-entry, will be done by machines, freeing humans to focus on analysis.

2) Humans will spend less time wading through raw data, and more time comparing insights.

3) When something goes wrong—for example, faulty data leads to an inaccurate sales forecast—organizations will spend less time searching for a human culprit, and more time collaborating over how to mend an imperfect data system.

Header photo: Creative Commons