Almost everyone can agree that big data has taken the business world by storm, but what’s next? Will data continue to grow? What technologies will develop around it? Or will big data become a relic as quickly as the next trend — cognitive technology? fast data? — appears on the horizon.
Let’s look at some of the predictions from the foremost experts in the field, and how likely they are to come to pass.
1. Data volumes will continue to grow. There’s absolutely no question that we will continue generating larger and larger volumes of data, especially considering that the number of handheld devices and Internet-connected devices is expected to grow exponentially.
2. Ways to analyse data will improve. While SQL is still the standard, Spark is emerging as a complementary tool for analysis and will continue to grow, according to Ovum.
3. More tools for analysis (without the analyst) will emerge. Microsoft and Salesforce both recently announced features to let non-coders create apps to view business data.
4. Prescriptive analytics will be built in to business analytics software. IDC predicts that half of all business analytics software will include the intelligence where it’s needed by 2020.
5. In addition, real-time streaming insights into data will be the hallmarks of data winners going forward, according to Forrester. Users will want to be able to use data to make decisions in real time with programs like Kafka and Spark.
6. Machine learning is a top strategic trend for 2016, according to Gartner. And Ovum predicts that machine learning will be a necessary element for data preparation and predictive analysis in businesses moving forward.
7. Big data will face huge challenges around privacy, especially with the new privacy regulation by the European Union. Companies will be forced to address the ‘elephant in the room’ around their privacy controls and procedures. Gartner predicts that by 2018, 50% of business ethics violations will be related to data.
8. More companies will appoint a chief data officer. Forrester believes the CDO will see a rise in prominence — in the short term. But certain types of businesses and even generational differences will see less need for them in the future.