Data Trends: Analytics, Governance, and More in 2024

Written by Jessica Schulze • Updated on

Familiarize yourself with past, present, and future trends in this 2024 guide to the data industry.

[Featured Image] Three data science colleagues review data on a monitor.

Whether you’re a data science student, professional, or enthusiast, staying current with data trends is a worthy endeavor. If you’re trying to get ahead of the curve for 2024, use this article as a starting point for your research. First, you’ll examine notable data trends of 2023. Then, compare them to the forecast for data science, analytics, and privacy trends in 2024. Examining the state of the industry yesterday and today can help you build a better perspective of what’s to come tomorrow.

What is a trend in data?

A trend in data is a pattern that indicates a general change in something over time. This article examines trends identified by various sources in the tech industry, including technological research and consulting firms like Gartner and enterprise-level companies like Amazon. 


Here are a few of last year’s top trends in data, according to Gartner [1]:

  • AI risk management. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in daily business processes has proliferated in recent years. While it has streamlined workflows and, in some cases, cut down on costs, it has also introduced security vulnerabilities and ethical conundrums. Data poisoning is an example of a cyber threat inherent to AI and machine learning (ML) technology. Adhering to regulations is key to any data management strategy, but AI ethics and responsibility go beyond that. Sustainable AI use must be coupled with governance to maintain trust, make informed decisions, and effectively measure value.

  • Data sharing. Gartner cites both internal and external data sharing as essential data trends in 2023. The concept behind these trends is for organizations to create “data as a product.” In short, this means applying product thinking to data sets by securing them, ensuring their discoverability, and strengthening their trustworthiness. Data sharing can enhance transparency and trust among stakeholders and consumers. It also improves connections among researchers, building efficiency by enabling the pooling of resources. 

  • Conscious automation. Automation technology is a top trend in the information technology space across North America and Europe [2]. However, keeping humans in the loop to make strategic decisions is key to a responsible automation initiative. A strong data literacy program should encourage a combination of advanced analytics with human decision-making at the helm. 

Thoughtful AI integration and data literacy training were both highlighted at the 2024 Gartner Data and Analytics Summit and will remain core data trends in 2024 [3].

There’s no denying the buzz surrounding generative AI in 2024, particularly in the data science space. An Amazon Web Services (AWS) sponsored survey revealed that 93 percent of respondents agree that data strategy is crucial to extracting value from generative AI [4]. Despite this, more than half of respondents reported making no changes to their data yet. Data executives suggest that the economic value of generative AI has not yet been delivered and that implementation is still largely experimental. These insights align with the shift toward the AI Trust, Risk, and Security Management (AI TRISM) framework in the IT space.

Read more: IT Trends: Tech, Strategy, Hiring, and More in 2024

Data analytics trends

The evolution of executive roles is a notable data analytics trend for 2024. A Thoughtworks survey showed that 87 percent of data leaders and tech executives agreed that people in their organizations are confused about where to resolve data and tech-related issues or obtain relevant services [4]. The same survey revealed that 79 percent of C-suite decision-makers reported organizational hindrance due to a lack of collaboration with other tech leaders. In 2024, we might see a shift toward broader, overarching tech leadership positions rather than specific, specialized roles such as Chief Data and Analytics Officer. 

Big data trends

The vast amounts of data generated today across various platforms like smart devices, mobile phones, and web applications can be challenging to collect and process, especially in real time. These conditions lead to dark or unprocessed data and missed opportunities for gathering valuable insight. In response, TechTarget predicts a rise in edge computing [5]. The increasing prevalence of the Internet of Things (IoT) emphasizes the need for big data analytics solutions, and non-database sources can be key. 

For two consecutive years, reports have identified data governance as the top activity on which Chief Data Officers (CDOs) spend their time [5]. Strengthening governance procedures is among the top 2024 trends not only in data but also in cybersecurity and IT. This shift can partly be attributed to the need to work responsibly with emerging technologies like generative AI. But governance is also critical for maintaining the quality and trustworthiness of data. 

Read more: 7 Cybersecurity Trends in 2024

Data privacy trends

Already by April 2024, comprehensive privacy bills had passed in New Jersey, Kentucky, and New Hampshire. These actions came after a momentous 2023 when the number of states with comprehensive privacy laws jumped from five to 12. Since 2024 is an election year, we may not see progress on the federal level for data privacy legislation. However, WilmerHale Privacy and Cybersecurity Law firm predicts this state-level trend will continue, projecting the following year to be active for privacy regulators and professionals [6]. 

Data breach trends

Over 353 million individuals were impacted by data compromises in 2023, including data breaches, leakages, and exposures [7]. Gartner predicts greater emphasis on employee behavior and cybersecurity awareness in 2024. The research and consulting firm also predicts that 50 percent of chief information security officers (CISOs) in large enterprises will have shifted toward human-centric security design by 2027 [8]. This response aligns with the rise of ransomware and social engineering attacks made more convincing and scalable by generative AI tools.

Mass layoffs in 2022 and 2023 caused some panic not only in the data space but also in the general tech sector. Surprisingly, a study conducted by 365DataScience concluded that the largest group of employees laid off in late 2022 held non-tech positions in HR & Talent Sourcing, making up 27.8 percent of layoffs across companies like Twitter, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, and Google. Software engineering is the second largest group impacted by layoffs, accounting for 22.1 percent [9]. Data scientists comprised only a small percent of titles laid off by major tech companies. If you’re an established or aspiring data science professional, the good news is that titles in this field are still in demand. 

Read more: 6 In-Demand Data Scientist Jobs in 2024

Key takeaways

  • Generative AI use is still largely experimental among tech companies. Focus is likely to shift toward strategizing use cases and demonstrating value rather than immediate application to business operations. 

  • Executive leadership roles may transform over the next year to close communication gaps and strengthen cross-functional collaboration in data-driven organizations.

  • Rapid, scattered data generation is leading to a rise in edge computing and other non-database processing solutions. 

  • Governance is a top priority for organizational leaders, state legislators, and data privacy professionals. 

  • Emphasis on employee cybersecurity training and development continues to grow after last year’s 3,205 data compromises in the United States [7]. 

You can stay ahead of the curve by subscribing to Career Chat, our LinkedIn newsletter, or browsing our data articles hub. If you’re ready to sharpen your skills, consider starting with a topical, free online course like Artificial Intelligence: Ethics & Societal Changes offered by Lund University. Or, sharpen your skills and prepare for your next data science role by earning the Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst Professional Certificate. You’ll work with industry-standard business intelligence tools like SQL and Power Query to transform data into actionable insights, create analytical reports, and visualize your findings with dashboards. 

Article sources


Gartner. “Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2023,” Accessed March 14, 2024.

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Jessica is a technical writer who specializes in computer science and information technology. Equipp...

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