Technology buzzwords like data mining, blockchain, natural language processing, and augmented reality sprinkle your newsfeed, the front page of your mobile morning paper, and maybe even conversations with friends. But what do people search for most?
In this analysis, I measured popularity with the Google Trends “Interest over time” metric, which Google defines as follows:
“Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. A score of 0 means there was not enough data for this term.”
I used Google Trends to analyze the web search popularity of five technology topics. Here, the topics are ranked from highest to lowest average interest over the past 15 years:
- Machine Learning
- Artificial Intelligence
- Big Data
- Cloud Computing
Throughout the past 15 years, analytics has topped the charts with the most cumulative interest (or web searches) by a longshot. For example, when interest in analytics peaked at 100% in April 2013, big data was the runner up with just 11%.
Searches for machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing spiked a few times in the past five years, but overall, they have plateaued. For example, from December 2017 to January 2018, popularity in artificial intelligence spiked from 8 to 23%, but this spike was very short-lived. Now, interest in artificial intelligence rarely reaches the double digits.
As expected, interest is not the same across the United States. Below are the U.S cities that demonstrated the highest cumulative interest for each topic in the past five years:
||San Antonio, Texas
||New York, New York
The chart matches each of the five technology topics to the U.S. city that demonstrated the highest interest in each topic over the past five years. To give a bit more context, I’ve also included the corresponding population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Clearly, not all technology buzzwords are created equal, but analytics continues to be the most searched technology buzzword. And the reason is clear: analytics is the backbone of enterprises - actionable recommendations, democratized insights, and data-backed reporting are foundational to success. Whether you’re looking at a 15-year average or five-year average, one crucial item in the popularity ranking always remains the same: analytics always comes out on top.
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