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Major shifts: In 2020/21, where did analytics, data science, and machine learning come into play?

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One of the benefits of having a long-running website like KDnuggets is the ability to look for trends and compare poll results to previous polls. When the latest poll findings are compared to earlier ones, significant differences emerge, with significant losses in several typical Data Science application areas such as CRM and significant growth in others such as Computer Vision, Agriculture, COVID, and Education.

In 2020/21, where did you use analytics, data science, and machine learning?

The results of this poll revealed considerable shifts in application areas. Computer Vision is the most popular topic (not asked in the 2018 poll), followed by Finance (no in 2018). CRM/Consumer, which was formerly the most popular application area, has slipped to third position.

The following are the major application areas with a market share of greater than 10%:

  • Computer Vision / Image Recognition, 15.0%
  • Finance, 14.5%
  • CRM/Consumer analytics, 13.9%
  • Health care, 13.2%
  • Education, 12.8%
  • Banking, 12.3%
  • COVID, 11.4%
  • E-commerce, 11.0%
  • Science, 10.7%

Then, in Figure 1, we compare the fraction of applications reported in 2020/21 to those reported in 2018. Most application areas are shown in red, suggesting that they have lost market share.


Fig. 1: Where AI, Data Science, and Machine Learning were used in 2020/21 as compared to 2018 for top categories with at least a 6% share.

Computer Vision and Covid were not included in the 2018 poll and are shown as grey circles on the Y axis.
The size of the shape correlates to the poll’s share in 2020/21.
The shape indicates whether the change is going up or down.
The colour corresponds to the percent change, with greener indicating a gain and red indicating a reduction.

In this poll, the additional application areas were:

  • Computer Vision / Image Recognition, 15.0%
  • COVID, 11.4%
  • Sports / eSports, 4.5%
  • Speech recognition, 3.6%
  • Food Delivery, 2.5%
  • Crime / Policing, 2.2%
  • Dating, 0.7%

Only three areas had a 10% rise in share:

  • Agriculture, 39.6%
  • Other, 17.4%
  • Telecom / Cable, 11.7%

On the other hand, 24 locations witnessed a drop in share of more than 10%, with 18 seeing a drop of more than 20%:

  • Social Policy / Survey, -56%
  • Insurance, -55%
  • Travel / Hospitality, -44%
  • Junk email / Anti-spam, -35%
  • Manufacturing, -31%
  • Entertainment/ Music / TV / Movies, -31%
  • Supply Chain, -28%
  • Mobile apps, -28%
  • Fraud Detection, -28%
  • Banking, -28%
  • Retail, -26%
  • Investment / Stocks, -26%
  • Games, -26%
  • CRM/Consumer analytics, -25%
  • Mining, -24%
  • Health care, -23%
  • Science, -21%
  • Social Good / Non-profit, -20%

This poll garnered 447 respondents, compared to 435 in the last poll in 2019. Data Scientists continue to work in around three distinct fields on average, up from 3.0 in 2019 and 2.8 in 2018, according to the average response.

Finally, here is a table with more detail.

Application Area% share in 2020/21% share in 2018% Change vs 2018
Computer Vision / Image Recognition15.00%newna
Finance14.50%16.10%-9.60%
CRM/Consumer analytics13.90%18.60%-25.50%
Health care13.20%17.20%-23.40%
Education12.80%11.70%8.80%
Banking12.30%17.00%-27.70%
COVID11.40%newna
E-commerce11.00%12.60%-13.30%
Science10.70%13.60%-20.80%
Other9.20%7.80%17.40%
Advertising8.50%9.00%-5.20%
Fraud Detection7.60%10.60%-28.10%
Software7.60%8.30%-8.10%
Agriculture7.40%5.30%39.60%
Automotive/ Self-Driving Cars7.20%7.60%-5.60%
Manufacturing6.90%10.10%-31.40%
Retail6.90%9.40%-26.40%
Telecom / Cable6.90%6.20%11.70%
Government / Military6.70%6.40%4.30%
IT / Network Infrastructure6.70%8.30%-18.90%
Medical/ Pharma6.70%7.80%-14.10%
Oil / Gas / Energy6.50%7.10%-9.00%
Biotech/Genomics6.30%6.70%-6.00%
Supply Chain6.30%8.70%-28.30%
Credit Scoring5.80%7.10%-18.40%
HR/workforce analytics5.80%5.70%1.20%
Search / Web content mining5.40%5.70%-6.60%
Social Media / Social Networks5.40%6.00%-10.20%
Investment / Stocks4.90%6.70%-26.20%
Sports / eSports4.50%newna
Direct Marketing/ Fundraising4.00%4.40%-7.80%
Insurance3.80%8.50%-55.30%
Speech recognition3.60%newna
Entertainment/ Music / TV / Movies3.40%4.80%-30.50%
Mining3.10%4.10%-24.30%
Mobile apps3.10%4.40%-28.30%
Games2.90%3.90%-25.60%
Travel / Hospitality2.70%4.80%-44.40%
Security / Anti-terrorism2.50%3.00%-17.70%
Food Delivery2.50%newna
Crime / Policing2.20%newna
Social Good / Non-profit2.00%2.50%-20.40%
Junk email / Anti-spam1.80%2.80%-35.10%
Social Policy / Survey analysis1.10%2.50%-55.80%
Dating0.70%newna

The article was originally published here

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