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The year is coming to a close and so it’s natural to start to look ahead for what the new year may hold. Business forecasting is hard work even for a single company, so spotting widespread business trends can help companies stay ahead of the pack and at the top of their industry. We’ve rounded up some of the most popular bets when it comes to what the future is likely to bring.

The Importance of Data — Data already plays a huge role in many companies but the future promises even bigger reliance on data. As companies begin to understand how to harvest and analyze data, they will be able to use it to create a smarter, faster and more efficient approach to business.

From Reporting to Forecasting — Currently, most companies use data to understand trends and identify areas that need improvement. As we understand how to analyze data better, it is believed that the focus will shift from reporting to actual and accurate forecasting. This will make business intelligence small business app packages even more important than they currently are for companies of every size.

Moving from Warehouses to Teams — Data warehouses are a common part of a company’s structure. But soon that will shift to larger analytics teams that are able to actually utilize the data being stored more effectively. Data captured over the past few months and years will suddenly start to truly pay off.

Data Begets Variety — As companies are able to use data more effectively, they’ll be able to respond to customer needs and wants with laser like precision. This will improve the quality and variety in the marketplace, driving both competition and sales.

These trends are set to make 2016 an interesting year for business growth and the use of data. Business analyticsis roundly believed to be the big buzz word of 2016 so now the question remains — is your company ready?