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2020 Data Capturing Trends & What They Mean for Data Centers

By: Kayla Matthews on December 23, 2019

Data capturing involves gathering inputted information and collecting it for later use — usually without human intervention. 2020 should have several data capture trends worth studying. Here are four to watch, plus a look at how each one could affect data centers. 

1. Next-Generation Edge Technologies Will Gather Data Autonomously to Benefit Supply Chains

Edge computing enables collecting and processing information closer to its origin rather than sending it to a distant data center first. It's already caused disruption by spurring the creation of so-called micro data centers. Those enable processing to happen closer to the source.

Recent improvements regarding edge technologies involve autonomous data capture for supply chains. Sensors and beacons can give real-time information about where a supply chain's resources are at any time. These advanced technologies will not replace older tracking methods, like bar codes. However, they should supplement existing strategies.

More small data centers may crop up to handle edge computing needs. Plus, edge computing will encourage looking outside conventional locations. For example, an edge computing project in Paris is set up along a metro train tunnel.  

2. The Automatic Data Capturing Market Will Grow

Automatic data capturing has substantial potential for speeding up the workflow and reducing errors. It's no surprise, then, that a report from Meticulous Research expects a 12.6% combined annual growth rate for the automatic identification and data capture market between 2019 and 2025. 

Tremendous potential exists for companies that want to capture valuable data. A Raconteur infographic shows that 500 billion tweets get posted per day on Twitter. On social media alone, a company could automatically gather information to see how frequently and why the public mentions brand names, for example. 

Data centers play a defining role in such an arrangement. The nature of automatic data capturing means it occurs without humans taking action. These centers aid in the background by storing transmitted information, for example. If an outage occurs, an enterprise might go without automated data capture for a while. This means centers may need to enhance their infrastructures to accommodate the extra traffic caused by data capture tools. 

3. Captured Data Will Continue to Improve Customer-Business Interactions

First-party data is the most reliable kind because it comes directly from the respective users. Companies have various ways to gather such information, and some of them will shape data capture trends. 2020 will continue to feature highly personalized email campaigns, for example, and captured data could propel those efforts. However, businesses also get first-party info in other ways, such as through polls, focus groups and rebate programs.

Businesses will keep using information to better serve their customers in 2020, but they will need to stay mindful of privacy regulations. Data center operators must, too. For example, the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect in the spring of 2018. That caused an uptick in data center customers engaging with their providers to ensure they were in line with GDPR. 

The U.S. does not have federal privacy laws. However, in 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will apply to businesses in The Golden State. It should have a broader effect, especially since companies operating online and products available to people outside of California may need to comply with the act. 

Data center representatives should prepare for the possibility that some of their clients will want assurance that the facility itself, and how it processes data, meet minimum standards under the CCPA. Other privacy laws may also become points of discussion in 2020. Businesses will undoubtedly keep capturing data about their customers, but they'll need to do so while following any applicable legislation. 

4. Machine Learning and Related Technologies Will Keep Enhancing Data Capture Offerings

When most people use a solution that depends on machine learning or artificial intelligence (AI), they probably don't think of the crucial roles data centers play in the background. For example, processing capabilities eliminate the latency that would make an interactive experience too sluggish or choppy.

Concerning data center trends for 2020, people should expect more companies to apply AI and machine learning to help their tools work. Rossum is one that's already doing so. It specializes in document-capture products and uses something called "cognitive data capture" to teach machines to understand information like humans do. 

The cloud-based software does not depend on fully structured data to extract information. It can also take it from a document regardless of the format. The hope is that Rossum's tool can speed up humans' tasks, leaving them free to perform other work 

Other brands may roll out similar technologies in 2020, and that change could impact data centers' resources, requiring some facilities to scale up. Regardless of whether AI-based data capture tools become mainstream in the coming year or carve out space as a niche offering, their presence in the market has a link to data centers. 

2020 Data Capture Trends Worth Following

The four trends here are certainly not the only ones that will take shape in the year ahead. However, they represent some of the most prominent ones to watch.

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