The next frontier in data visualization is clearly immersive experiences. The 2014 paper “Immersive and Collaborative Data Visualization Using Virtual Reality Platforms” written by CalTech astronomers is a staggeringly large step in the right direction. In fact, I am shocked that 1 year later I have not seen a commercial application of this technology. You can read it here: http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1410/1410.7670.pdf
The key theme that I hear at technology conferences lately is the need to focus on analytics, visualization and data exploration. The advent of big data systems such as Hadoop and Spark has made it
possible – for the first time ever – to store Petabytes of data on commodity hardware and process this data, as needed, in a fault tolerant and incredibly quick fashion. Many of us fail to understand the full implications of this inflection point in the history of computing.
Storage is decreasing in cost every year, to the point where you can now have multiple GB on a USB drive that 10 years ago you could only store a few MBs. Gigabit internet is being installed in cities all over the world. Spark uses the concept of in memory distributed computation to perform at 10X map reduce for gigantic datasets and is already being used in production by Fortune 50 companies. Tableau, Qlik, MicroStrategy, Domo, etc.