The huge increase in data volumes that businesses will have to deal with in the coming years is set to lead to analytics solutions becoming a key part of every business operation.

This is according to technology analysis firm Gartner, which highlighted analytics as one of its recently-announced top ten strategic technology predictions for the year ahead, along with tools like mobile devices and the Internet of Things (IoT).

It noted that a large increase in the number of embedded devices and sensors in use around the world will result in organisations collecting vast quantities of both structured and unstructured data. This will offer great potential for companies to gain insight into their operations, but only if they have the right tools in place to make the most of their digital assets.

As a result, the most effective companies will be those that manage to integrate data analytics solutions into every part of their operation.

David Cearley, vice-president and fellow at Gartner, stated: "Organisations need to manage how best to filter the huge amounts of data coming from the IoT, social media and wearable devices, and then deliver exactly the right information to the right person, at the right time."

What this will mean is that every app used by enterprises now needs to be an analytics app, Mr Cearley stated. Even if end users do not realise it, analytics capabilities will be invisibly embedded in every part of a business.

Mr Cearley noted that big data analytics will have an important role to play as an enabler for this trend, but warned that firms cannot rely solely on the technology to give them the results they need. In order to be successful, it will be vital that staff understand what they need to do in order to get good results.

Gartner noted: "The focus needs to shift to thinking about big questions and big answers first and big data second – the value is in the answers, not the data."