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Analytics for everyone, reducing AI bias, customer data in a cookieless future and more.

In 2023, "analytics for everyone, everywhere" will be a major trend and help businesses achieve AI maturity.

In business, technology, supply chains and more, what will be the most important trends to watch in 2023? SAS, the leader in analytics, asked executives across the company to make predictions for the new year. Here are some of their forecasts and spotlight trends:

Low-code analytics brings AI to the people

"In 2023, the concept of 'analytics for everyone, everywhere' will not only be a major trend to watch but also a critical way for businesses to achieve maturity in AI. As organizations continue to embrace machine learning, computer vision, IoT analytics and more to gain valuable insights, people of all skill levels will be empowered to participate in the analytics process through low- or no-code options."

– Jared Peterson, Senior Vice President of Engineering

Examining human biases improves AI bias

"It's widely understood and agreed upon that AI can be biased. In 2023, the industry will extend our beliefs to accept that biases are in us and around us; they are central to our humanness and influence how we make decisions. Developing AI that predicts and mitigates harmful biases is the first step to securing the necessary trust to move forward without replicating past mistakes."

– Reggie Townsend, Director of Data Ethics Practice

Data deprecation is top of mind

"2023 will be the year that marketers respond to data deprecation. The imminent demise of third-party cookies in 2024 means brands must rethink their entire customer data strategy, from zero-party data through first- and second- to third-party data. The change presents an amazing opportunity for brands to divest themselves of poor marketing practices that relied on third-party cookies and develop closer, more trusted relationships with customers."

– Jennifer Chase, Chief Marketing Officer

Financial services will double down on ESG

"Amid ongoing economic turbulence, one might expect financial institutions to pull back on environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives. But signs point to most banks staying the course or doubling down. A SAS-sponsored survey of 500 banking executives revealed that more than three-quarters believe financial services must address societal issues. Yet 64% of executives think banking lags behind other sectors in advancing ESG goals."

– Alex Kwiatkowski, Director of Global Financial Services

Esports and blockchain will converge

"Blockchain and esports will continue to converge, and there will be blockchain-first-built games in the next 5-10 years. Esports now relies heavily on analytics, machine learning and AI to provide a professional experience for gamers and fans worldwide. From finding parity in players during matches and analyzing interactions inside each universe to tracking and promoting inventory you can buy – the data to analyze in gaming is endless and will continue to grow."

– Bryan Harris, Chief Technology Officer

Industrial adoption of AI upskills the assembly line

"Organizations will increasingly add computer vision and other AI technologies that operations professionals can use within the industrial IoT environment, not just IT staff and data scientists. Computer vision initiatives will focus on yield improvement, operational efficiency and safety."

– Jason Mann, Vice President of IoT

Real-time data storage replaces the data warehouse

"In 2023, we will continue to see organizations move away from traditional data warehousing to storage options that support analyzing and reacting to data in real time. Organizations will lean into processing data as it becomes available and storing it in a user-friendly format for reporting purposes. Whether a manufacturer monitors streaming IoT data from machinery or a retailer monitors e-commerce traffic, identifying real-time trends will help avoid costly mistakes and capitalize on opportunities when they present themselves."

– Jay Upchurch, CIO

Digital twins improve supply chains, reduce climate impacts

"Climate change frequently obstructs supply chains by stifling the movement of commodities, rerouting freight, and even stopping employees from traveling to work. Supply chain teams will use digital twins and simulation to speed up decision-making so they can respond more rapidly to the reality of the connected supply chain."

– Dan Mitchell, Director of Global Retail & CPG Practice

Generalist data scientists become specialized

"In 2023, data scientists with industry-specific knowledge will be the most successful in meeting business demand and expectations, and we will see data scientists seek specialized training."

– Marinela Profi, Data Scientist and Product Lead for Analytics & ModelOps

Diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture drives huge business impact

"Companies will rely more on the HR people and analytics teams to understand their people data and analytics to create workforce plans. Companies need data to understand what skills they have, what are required to drive business initiatives and where to skill up to inform their learning and development strategies. Data will also help ensure that diversity, equity and inclusion are part of a company's business strategy beyond HR."

– Jenn Mann, Chief HR Officer

[For additional details and more predictions, please see the SAS blog post Remaining resilient: Our 2023 analytics predictions.]

This spring, you can explore these trends and see how the SAS predictions are faring. On May 8-10, 2023, more than 1,000 business decision makers and analytics experts will gather in-person at SAS Innovate in Orlando, Fla. Attendees will experience more than 60 curated sessions, keynotes and roundtables, while networking with fellow analytics enthusiasts. Visit SAS Innovate to learn more.



Experts from analytics and AI leader SAS forecast the trends that will most impact financial services organizations in the year ahead

As recession anxieties and geopolitical tensions cloud the global economic horizon, the financial services sector is preparing for a rocky 2023. How will industry leaders wield their data and advanced analytics to weather the storm? Some of SAS' foremost industry experts predict what consumers, financial firms and the parties protecting them can anticipate in the year to come.

Predictability returns

"2023 won't be the year of chaos. In fact, 2023 will mark the return of some degree of predictability. The economic impacts of this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic were to be expected: pent-up demand, tight labor markets and supply chain struggles. These factors in combination were bound to stoke inflation, prompting rate increases as an obvious policy response. Anticipate increased delinquencies in retail and commercial portfolios and high market volatility as the world continues to navigate the fallout. Robust scenario analysis, near real-time monitoring, and general organizational agility will rule the day."

- Anthony Mancuso, Director, Risk Solutions Consulting

Customer-centric decision-making launches a new era of differentiated customer engagement

"The ability to make decisions across the entire customer lifecycle will become a significant differentiator in the race to gain and retain customers. Think holistic decisions across risk, fraud, and marketing, all on a single architecture, creating an exclusive customer experience that can set one apart from the competition. I predict that increasing fraud losses and a drive towards automation will motivate centralized governance over disparate solutions and consolidation of decisioning capabilities at onboarding and throughout the customer journey."

- Stu Bradley, Senior Vice President of Fraud and Security Intelligence

'Zombie firms,' flash crashes force an economic reckoning

"Rising interest rates and the strengthening of the US dollar signal trouble in the face of historically high sovereign debt and ongoing geopolitical instability. 2023 could see a string of sovereign defaults, while liquidity challenges in treasury markets have the potential to spark flash crashes, exacerbating market fragility.

"These factors combined will force an economic reckoning, particularly among so-called 'zombie firms' – companies that don't turn enough profit to cover their debts – as borrowing becomes more expensive and less abundant. Companies that lack strong balance sheets and ability to generate cashflows will be at high risk of default, while those that survive are apt to prioritize the quality of earnings and cashflow sustainability over their growth rates."

- Stas Melnikov, Head of Risk Portfolio

Banks double down on ESG progress for greater resiliency

"Amid ongoing economic turbulence, one might expect financial institutions to pull back on environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives – but signs point to most banks staying the course or doubling down. A recent survey of 500 banking executives revealed that three-quarters (76%) believe financial services has an obligation to address societal issues, and yet 64% of executives think banking lags behind other sectors in advancing ESG goals.

"Clearly, financial services leaders recognize the opportunity to shore up long-term resilience, even as they weather the coming storm. With ESG as a north star, banks could emerge from this recession more fiscally resolute – and those that lead in the ESG revolution will no doubt reap the added reward of having furthered customer trust and loyalty in the process."

- Alex Kwiatkowski, Director of Global Financial Services

Cryptocurrency drives the search for criminals

"While recent events will certainly drive increased regulatory scrutiny, cryptocurrency is not dead. Crooks will continue to use crypto to mask their nefarious activities and launder their ill-gotten gains. In turn, law enforcement and regulators will better hone their ability to understand the movement and exchange of illicit funds, improving the industry's ability to triangulate human trafficking, drug dealing, money laundering and other criminal activities with speed and precision."

- Dan Barta, Principal Enterprise Fraud and Financial Crimes Consultant

The rise of APIs and cloud computing

"As changing relationships across risk factors expose the limits and weaknesses of legacy risk management systems, financial institutions will turn to APIs and other tools to patch or replace weak links as they are found. Cloud computing and speed-to-market of targeted solutions will grow significantly more important as institutions first seek to 'plug the leaks in the dam' before tackling large-scale replacement of legacy systems."

- Martin Zorn, Managing Director of Risk Research and Quantitative Solutions

Climate change risk comes for consumers

"As financial risks from climate change are better understood, banks will begin pricing it into mortgages and commercial loans. Prepare to pay higher prices if you live in active hurricane, flood and fire zones."

- Naeem Siddiqi, Senior Advisor for Risk Research and Quantitative Solutions

Government regulators spark an anti-money laundering modernization wave

"Financial intelligence units (FIUs) are in for quite a year. Criminals and tax evaders have emerged as among the cryptocurrency boom's greatest 'innovators,' leaving a big gap in the effectiveness of suspicious activity reports. As global conflicts continue to fuel substantially increased sanctions against bad actors, FIUs will rethink how they operate – from their legal authority to the IT systems that support their missions. My eyes are on Singapore, Germany and Canada as likely forerunners to spark the first wave of modernizations that spurs broader anti-money laundering innovation focused on AI and real-time capabilities."

- Shaun Barry, Global Director, Fraud and Security Intelligence

Retreat from globalization spells opportunity for fintech upstarts

"Amid ongoing supply chain contraction and mounting political and social pressures, we'll see a massive retreat from the globalization that has driven the world for the last 30 years. As business ecosystems shift to operating more regionally, global financial services firms will adjust their strategies and operations rapidly and pragmatically. This could present new opportunities for geographically aligned fintechs and insurtechs to integrate with traditional industry players, boosting agility and innovation for all. As the business climate grows less hospitable, such partnerships would represent a valuable lifeline for tech upstarts. Those who go it alone will struggle to survive."

- Norman Black, Director, EMEA Insurance Solutions

Financial services sees a scenario analysis renaissance

"Swirling uncertainty around climate change, geopolitical instability, energy crises and other factors will inspire a scenario management and analysis renaissance. Far from being a static output, scenario will become a dynamic output of dedicated risk models. Topics like scenario creation, scenario perturbation, risk analysis associated with a given scenario and reverse-engineering of a scenario will be able to answer questions left unanswered by traditional approaches."

- Christian Macaro, Principal Risk Solutions Advisor

See the future with SAS

Curious to gaze deeper into the future? SAS' landmark Banking in 2035 study with Economist Impact examines the tectonic shifts that will reshape and redefine the banking sector in the decade to come. Dive in at

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