Where is Big Data taking us?
Technology constantly challenges and disrupts the way we work, and one area that has seen enormous change is Big Data. But as we gather more and more data – and increasingly need to make sense of it – where will this data growth lead us in the future? Let’s take a look at some of the trends!
Big Data is Nothing New
The term Big Data has actually been around since World War II, to describe working with huge amounts of information. But when we talk about Big Data today, we refer to datasets that are too large or too complex for processing using traditional data management applications. As this mass of data continues to grow at an ever-increasing speed, we constantly face the challenge of handling, storing and analysing it in the most cost-effective way.
Future Data Predictions
These are some of the trends that are expected to influence the ways we work with Big Data management in the future:
- Edge Computing
Many companies deal with unnecessary data that has limited use and becomes irrelevant quickly. A solution to this is to move the actual data analysis closer to where the data is collected, which could be an IoT device, a piece of machinery or a sensor. With edge computing, you can reduce the amount of data that needs to pass through your networks, improving the performance of your systems – and making the analysis faster. This also means the IoT data can often be easily deleted once it is no longer needed, which saves storage space and costs.
It can be expensive to make sense of Big Data. There are many experts and specialists who will charge hefty amounts for helping businesses analyse and use their complex data to support their decision-making. This is driving a big rise in self-service tools, as organisations want to be able to handle their own data needs. IDC has previously made this prediction: “Visual data discovery tools will be growing 2.5 times faster than rest of the business intelligence (BI) market. By 2018, investing in this enabler of end-user self-service will become a requirement for all enterprises.”
IT is gradually becoming less involved in Big Data analytics, and instead we’re seeing data and insights becoming more closely integrated into the daily operations across the business.
- Machine Learning
Machine learning is already making big waves in the tech world, and it will continue to play a central part in the future of Big Data according to analyst firm Ovum. Machine learning is a technology that integrates statistical principles into computing, allowing it to gradually learn to recognise patterns and adapt its responses based on those patterns. Machine learning can help businesses become more agile in their use of the data generated. We expect to see a lot of machine learning as well as Artificial Intelligence in the management of Big Data going forward.
- Algorithms for Sale
There are industry voices that predict that the business of the future will buy key algorithms rather than software. This would allow the organisation to get the exact processing of data that they are looking for, with the ability to customise the algorithm to perfectly fit their data needs. However, there will of course still be a need for visual interfaces and analytical applications, so we will most likely see a combined improvement of how software and adaptable algorithms work together.
- Continued Data Growth
Data is growing at a speed and scale that is becoming almost impossible to imagine. Here are some figures from IDC that illustrate the sheer enormity of Big Data:
- 40,000 search queries are performed per second on Google. This means 46 million searches per day and 1.2 trillion per year.
- Facebook users send roughly 25 million messages and watch 2.77 million videos per minute.
- 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
- By 2020, the new information generated for every human being will amount to 7 megabytes per second.
- By 2020, the accumulated volume of Big Data will consist of approximately 44 zettabytes – or 44 trillion Gb.
- By 2020, business transactions (including both B2B and B2C) via the internet will reach 450 billion per day.
- By 2020, the number of smartphone users will reach 1 billion, overtaking the number of landlines.
Big Data – Not Just about Size
Many businesses are nowhere near being able to tap into the vast amounts of data that is being generated. For most of us, Big Data is not helpful unless we can access it and make sense of it. In the future, we will need to see a shift towards what many call ‘Fast and Actionable Data’ – an approach that allows us to easily analyse data and draw useful, actionable information from it.
Here at DCSL, we will continue to monitor the Big Data landscape and explore new ways of extracting value from it, helping organisations like yours become more agile and competitive.