Dr Dean Anthony Gratton is a technology futurist and influencer. He has worked extensively within the wireless communications R&D industry where his wireless research work has been patented. Dean is a passionate thought leader in his field and continues to provide an authoritative published and vocal presence within IoT, IIoT, Smart Homes/Cities/Meters/Living/Energy, AI, Data, Cloud and Blockchain. You can contact Dean and learn more about his work via deangratton.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@grattonboy) to enjoy his risqué humour, witty shenanigans, social media and technology-related tweets.
How did you get to become an expert in business intelligence?
Personally, I’m not a fan of the word ‘expert’. Rather, I think of myself as someone who is still learning; for example, the technology sector – something I’m deeply passionate about – is always evolving and shifting – our perception of ‘what’s-what’ changes on a daily basis. I suppose my thirty-year background in software engineering and wireless technology development, has helped me understand things somewhat differently because of my very technical experience. More so, today, the furore and excitement surrounding the Internet of Things (IoT) has allowed me to perch myself as an observer and look into the entire sphere. As such, I can really challenge the gossip, rumours, and associated hype from both a technical and business perspective.
What areas of business intelligence are you most passionate about?
What really captures my imagination is the potential that lies within predictive and advanced data analytics. It has the potential to reshape both business and enterprise which, in turn, bolsters greater CX and UX experiences. You see, it’s more critical than ever that the insight harvested from data is analysed in a way that makes sense and ultimately, adds value to our business. There’s a definite tendency to over complicate things, which leads to more questions than answers. Similarly, business intelligence, its strategy, data resources and analytics, must align in ways that support the introduction of new and emerging technologies such as the IoT, predictive diagnostics, self-healing capabilities, Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Which business intelligence influencers influence you?
In no particular order, I think some of the greatest BI influencers out there include Cindi Howson, who has a wealth of experience, is a thought leader in data analytics and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty in terms of testing. Then there’s the great Barry Devline, who’s “love affair with data” as he puts it, makes him a must-follow BI influencer. Ronald Van Loon, Judith Hurwitz and Jen Stirrup also provide some great insights.
Outside of business intelligence who else influences you?
I’m always influenced by the insights given from other technology leaders including Cedrik Neike of Siemens whose views on sustainable energy are inspiring. In terms of the IoT, I admire Stacey Higginbotham’s ability to write and broadcast about the IoT in a way that everyone from consumer to developer can understand – that’s a gift! And then there’s my wife, Sarah-Jayne Gratton who, personal bias aside, has a deep understanding of all things innovation and is able to explain technology in a very approachable manner.
How would you describe your offline influence?
I’m pretty influential (I say modestly) just Google me! To date, I’ve written seven books covering various wireless technologies; I was a judge at this year’s NFC Innovation Awards; I’m also a Key Opinion Leader (KOL) for Huawei Technologies and I am currently working with Siemens to help build a new Influencer Community.
What are going to be the key developments in the industry in the next 12 months?
I think the data mindset change that’s already taking place will continue to evolve as it must. I think we’ll see AI, you know, the things like sex robots, driverless cars and predictive maintenance continue to grow throughout the industry. But, for me, the two sectors to watch are healthcare and agritech where, in the latter arena, I predict a huge leap in investment and development due to the ongoing Brexit saga.
If a brand wanted to work with you, what activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?
Technology, yep, that’s me – I love technology and with my background and experience, I have a better understanding than most and I am armed with knowledge that breaks down the often associated hyperbole and gloss. I regularly work with brands on proof of concepts, new product development and event launches surrounding all things innovation whilst looking at the ways technology can best evolve to solve current and future issues.