Though almost a month and half too late, few days back I was browsing the web-pages of individuals and organizations offering predictions around what the IT industry should expect in 2014. Many of them were along expected lines – continued rise of Big Data, Cloud Computing, Mobile Devices, Wearables, Social Media driven Digital Marketing, 3D Printing, Bitcoin etc. Albeit sporadically, there were also predictions around democratization of data analysis i.e. data analysis becoming more of a mainstream task rather than the domain of data scientists. I don’t know about the other predictions, but this one is certainly something I identify with. In the last 5-10 years, “Data driven decisions” has become a buzzword in many organizations. But – look at any organization and it will be apparent that many decisions are not really data driven. There will be a few cases of people doing pivots and some fancy charts using tools like Excel and then there are the data scientists who are supposed to be doing advanced data analysis. Talk to the data scientists and it will be clear that they spend more time on pulling and preparing the data than on any real analysis. And even the analysis mostly centers on some basic statistical techniques like regression and associated visualization done using a tool like R or Matlab.