While it may be difficult to get everyone in full agreement on exactly which big data trends will prove true or which will merely fall by the wayside, you can safely bet that one thing that most everyone will see eye to eye on is that big data is here to stay and is going to get even bigger.
Yes, big data is increasing in volume and transforming how organizations analyze data and generate actionable insights—helping them boost sales, lower total cost of operation and reduce churn rate to help them stay relevant, increase profitability and gain a competitive advantage.
One more thing about big data— you can’t afford to ignore it. So let’s give it our full attention and take a look at what some of the field’s leading experts and thought makers are predicting for its future.
- Chief Data Officer Role Is On the Rise
As organizations struggle to keep up with constant change and compete with digital-natives, chief data officers will become essential to driving strategy. According to Brian Hopkins of Forrester Research, “Chief data officers will gain, power, prestige and presence… for now.” But as Hopkins also points out, the long-term outlook for the CDO role is not quite as clear, since certain types of businesses and possibly generational differences will lessen their need down the road.
- Data-as-a-Service Business Model Will Emerge
Forrester Research predicts that after the IBM acquisition of The Weather Channel—January 29, 2016—more and more organizations will attempt to monetize their data by packaging data-stream-as-a-service. Data can be an organization’s most valuable asset and organizations will look for ways to maximize its bottom-line benefits. Forrester however predicts some companies will succeed, while “most will sputter.”
- Internet of Things Market Booming
According to Gartner, in 2016 spending on new Internet of things (loT) hardware will exceed $2.5 million a minute, while GE’s Industrial Insights Report predicts that the “Internet of Things” will add between $10 and $15 trillion to the global GDP over the next 20 years.
As a result, employer competition for skills in the space will be on the rise, with both technology and non-technology companies hiring aggressively for loT—including these fastest growing job positions: systems software developers (215% growth/past year), information security analysts (113% growth/past year) and computer systems engineers (110% growth/past year).
- Challenges Around Privacy
Gartner predicts that by 2018, 50% of business ethics violations will be data related. In light of the privacy regulation by the European Union, big data will face big privacy challenges and companies will be forced to be more transparent with regard to their privacy controls and procedures.
- Machine Learning
Machine learning—creating algorithms that enable computers to learn from experience—is gaining interest from organizations wanting to automate jobs that previously required human interventions. Analyst firm, Ovum, predicts that machine learning will be “a checklist item for data preparation and predictive analytics.”
Gartner takes machine learning a step further, predicting advanced machine learning to become a top strategic trend. Called deep neutral nets, Gartner says it will create systems that can autonomously learn to perceive the world on their own and in order to gain a competitive advantage, organizations must quickly assess how to apply these technologies.
- Real-Time Insights
Streaming ingestion of data and analytics will become a must-have for digital winners in 2016 according to Forrester Research. “The window for turning data into action is narrowing. The next 12 months will be about distributed, open source streaming alternatives built on open source projects like Kafka and Spark”, Forrester’s Brain Hopkins wrote in his November 2015 blog post on big data trends.
- Emergence of Algorithm Markets
Businesses will learn that they can purchase algorithms rather than program them and add their own data, according to Forrester Research. Look for existing services like Algorithmia, DataXu and Kaggle to grow and multiply.
- Big Data Staffing Shortages Get Bigger
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), look for staffing shortages to expand from analysts and scientists to include architects and data management experts—resulting in big data related professional services to grow at a compound annual growth of 23% through 2020.
- “Autonomous Agents and Things” Up and Coming
According to Gartner, robots, autonomous vehicles, virtual personal assistants and smart advisors will continue to be a big trend and IT leaders should explore how they use “autonomous agents and things” in tandem with human activity—freeing people for work that only people can do.
- More Tools for Analysis without Analysts and Data Scientists
Look for tools and features that unlock information and expose it directly to business users to emerge. For example, both Microsoft and Salesforce have announced capabilities to let non-coders create apps to view business data.