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ChatGPT – the new disruptor in the Data and Analytics space

Everyone is talking about ChatGPT. And many are using it too. This new, AI powered tool was launched by OpenAI and it has created a stir across industries and people from all walks of life. The tool can provide well-articulated responses to queries, write codes, and deliver results to most queries, even those related to a process flow, data model or a code!

However, in its current form, it does have limitations. There have been reports of factual inaccuracies, fictitious invention of names and books and failure to solve complex problems. But this is just the beginning of an era of disruption, and everyone associated with Data and Analytics needs to be on their toes.

What is ChatGPT capable of delivering?

The tool can not only potentially automate various Data & Analytics led processes like Data Governance, Data Quality, Analytics based predictions, creation of Data Models and processes, data structures and queries on data sources to delivering code based on SQL queries and auto completing data tables with contextual data.

Imagine! A lot of tasks in Data & Analytics, which were dependent on niche people related skills, can be easily delivered by an NLP based tool, which thrives on ML and deep learning!

And, it is certainly a powerful tool, even in its nascent form, which will change the arena of data management and analytics. And SMEs working in this space need to put on their thinking caps and come up with out of the box solutions. For ChatGPT will force software solution providers, system integrators and consulting firms to reinvent their skills and offerings.

How ChatGPT will potentially disrupt the Data and Analytics space

1)      Impact on various roles and responsibilities in Data & Analytics

Roles will change or will disappear. People who were associated with manual, repetitive work will be hit, as large parts of their work will be automated and taken over by AI powered tools.

  • Data Scientists and Data Engineers will not have to struggle with large sets of data sets which need to be rummaged to get the right data.  The tool will easily create sandbox environments, hypothesis, and models. Life will be far easier, allowing Data Scientists to spend time on thinking and creating insights from data (which may also get automated at some point in time).
  • Developers face competition from the tool as ChatGPT will create the code for them. They will have to polish their human cognitive skills to be relevant to their roles.
  • Data Analysts too need to be aware that the tool can identify data sources, define data structures, provide details on information required for graphs and charts and much more. Hence, Data Analysts will need to develop futuristic skills like strategic and critical thinking and problem solving to survive in the new order.
  • Business Analysts will need upskill and hone up their strategic and analytical thinking skills as ChatGPT can perform most of their traditional tasks, right from creating requirements, process, and data models (and a business glossary/taxonomy with comprehensive list of entities and attributes), use and test cases to generating reports and presentations. The life of a Business Analyst will change dramatically, and they must be ready with value added skills
  • ChatGPT will not replace most of the roles, but it will change the very concept and skill requirement of the roles. Technology skills, along with other cognitive skills will be the new combo for the future.

2)      Impact on Business users

  • Business users will be able to act on data generated insights quickly as the tool will generate explanations and interpretations from large streams of complex data fed into it.
  • They can also use ChatGPT to generate reports on demand. Thus, reliance on people with Data and Analytics and Technology skills will considerably reduce.
  • Operational efficiency will also increase as the tool is capable of automating process tasks carried out by humans.
  • Democratizing and leveraging data will be a way of life and Data Literacy initiatives can be automated through training programs recommended by the tool

3)      Impact on Consulting and Advisory Firms in Data and Analytics

ChatGPT will spread its magic across Consulting and Advisory Service organisations too. While it may automate research and development and presentation content creation, it will also impact the capabilities and service offerings.

Areas like Data Governance, Data Quality, Metadata Management will witness unprecedented automation, with zero human touch points. With automation of Process maps and Data Models, to maybe recommendations for a Data Governance Organisation structure, with Data ownerships too? Quite possible.

New-age solutions like Process Mining and Business Observability will acquire a whole new level of capability, automation, and maturity, forcing vendors to upgrade and enhance solutions with quick agility.

ChatGPT can source, collect, analyze data, and come up with insights and recommendations.

Hence, traditional service offerings like analytics are under threat. According to BCG, strategy consultancy projects with static outcomes will rapidly diminish, which will give rise to scientifically backed AI-driven strategies enhanced by data. The Googles and Amazons could well become the new-age consultancy companies!

Data Literacy initiatives will also be impacted as users will be required to learn how to cope and manage new technology and its output for their business decisions and outcome.

It in future avatar, capabilities around visualizations and graphics need to be built and be in high demand.  

Data privacy will be high on the priority list as the data fed to this NLP based tool will need to be tightly governed and operated within well-defined boundaries.

Security and Access Control will turn into a major focus / concern area

How can Consulting and Advisory Companies take on this innovation – our point of view

Disruption demands disruption.  Consulting and Advisory firms in the Data and Analytics space will need to completely transform. Right from their skill sets to their offerings and business models. While some of the changes have been highlighted in point 3 above, here are a few more ways that such organisations can re-invent themselves and their offerings.

  • Creating market relevant AI powered service offerings – a need to think out of the box is extremely important to create market relevant offerings in and around ChatGPT (like automating business use cases, Data Governance tasks and activities, Data Quality initiatives and offerings around Data Privacy, Security and Data Exchange amongst others).
  • Skill set for consultants - Consultants will need a base of technology skills, coupled with soft and cognitive skills to work along with and leverage the ever-evolving functionalities of ChatGPT. Skills will evolve from analysis to judgement. Selecting the best-fit recommendations and firming up the strategy to selecting the best actions from recommended options is where a consultant’s skill will be leveraged.
  • Strategic & Intelligent Partnerships and Acquisitions – consulting and advisory companies will need to acquire new age start ups and / or forge partnerships with them to retrain, upskill or quickly add niche skills and offerings to their customers. It’s quite possible that the Consulting & Advisory firms might start wooing the Googles and Amazons, and other start ups for such partnerships.
  • Changing Business Models - on the business front, margins and market share will be impacted, especially on traditional services like technology and business outsourcing, staff augmentation and data and analytics. The ability of a consulting/technology organization to retrain and upskill their employees at super-fast speed and come up with innovative offerings (on their own or with partners) will determine the survival in the fast-changing world.
  • Customers – the very ask and requirements of the customers will change. They will revolve around AI powered solutions and offerings. Hyper personalization will be the norm and hyper automation will be the new mantra of customers.

Final Words

ChatGPT has brought about a new paradigm, which necessitates a marriage between technology and human capabilities and skills. People, Process, Technology and Data will be completely overhauled, and AI powered tools will take centre stage. However, the world needs to forge ahead with caution. While businesses will re-invent, so will the threats. Especially with regards to data. And these need to be managed, along with other challenges that will abound.

An ongoing challenge will appear in the form of systemic biases. Considering the tool survives on humongous amounts of data, biases could easily creep in.

Errors too need to be caught and dealt with. The data that the tool has been fed may not be top notch quality. And as the tool will generate new data, the issues will compound.  ChatGPT has hallucinated in the past and may continue to do so in the future. So, treading ahead with extreme caution is a must.

Intellectual property will assume a new meaning and definition. If a model creates analytical models or recommends a new product design based on user fed data, who will the IPR rest with? How can plagiarism be controlled when the tool is trained on data, and it generates new data? All these issues will crop up and create challenges not faced before.

While new technology brings in innovation, it comes at a price. Hence, one needs to look ahead with caution and be prepared for a new set of issues that will disrupt life and business. So, get ready and get set, and enter the new world.

This article has been co-authored by Shirish Kulkarni


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