The term “Big Data” has been around for a few years and refers to the methodologies, tools and technologies that are being used by businesses to analyse large amounts of data to calculate predictions and outcomes. The year 2013 may see Big Data moving into the realm where consumers will actually start seeing its impact. Given the broad range of opinions over the ascendency of big data, here’s my take on what you can expect from 2013 onwards:
1. It has been predicted that publicly available data is going to grow at a rapid pace, which has the potential to disrupt many sectors. More than 50% of businesses and consumers will have huge data to interpret and will make use of the external data to make business decisions and run their marketing campaigns. The speed at which the data is being created on the internet is making it simpler for businesses and consumers to create, publish and share information on the web. It is estimated that by the end of this year, the volume of data held in various systems will double. This will create unparalleled pressure on businesses to make investment in people, technology and training to gather, analyse and take actions on this volume of data across different devices and platforms, most of which is noise.
2. Mobile ecommerce companies of all sizes are achieving success by getting insights and extracting useful information through the high volumes of data that they have access to. It has been forecasted that in 2013 more and more people will access their e-commerce business using their smartphones instead of relying on desktops and laptops. Businesses that have a perception of owning their clients will be replaced by businesses who deliver what the customer wants in order to fulfil their tasks. It has been predicted that mobile-based platforms will become more disruptive than web-based services, and it is only through extensive and rapid analysis that mobile e-commerce sites can interpret the main purpose and objective of their visitors. Thus, use of enterprise-level software that helps mobile e-commerce companies analyse high volume of data for actionable insights, is poised to grow.
3. Use of ‘Big Data’ applications will grow in large enterprises as well, given the trends. Organisations of this size will not find it practical to build their own applications that gather, analyse and act on stored data. The rapid increase in the volume of data will force these enterprises to be dependent upon customised applications. These applications learn from the knowledge, experiences and behaviours of individuals and businesses of the domain enterprise. The process of distinguishing the appropriate insight from the disharmony of noise requires expertise and skills in machine learning, language systems, web-scale systems and data science. Specialists in these fields are scarce globally and it will take many years to grow their numbers – it takes more than 8 years in educating a quality data scientist who can build these Big Data Applications.
4. Most IT companies will start adopting Scrum models for their processes in order to stay involved with the rapidly changing landscape of online businesses. ‘Big Data’ applications provide imminent information that needs to be tested at regular intervals in order to find out which is making more impact. In addition, the traditional IT model is not compatible with the current era of ever-changing business requirements. IT companies will start embracing controlled implementations that allows the business people in conducting tests without the need of more resources. This has though started some years ago with the advent of Content Management Systems and e-commerce applications. However, the rate of change has considerably increased as the data that is available on the web has grown immensely. Big Data is a permanent fix for the future of digital data, and determining what knowledge or insights could make business performances better will create competitive advantage for large-scale companies.
5. It is also interesting to see how ‘Big Data’ applications are evolving and integrating with cloud-based applications. Major organisations around the globe are increasingly putting their important data on the cloud. These organisations, who were traditionally extremely cautious about risks in adopting new technologies, now actually feel comfortable using cloud services to advance their enterprise-level performance and are putting aside their fears over security. As increasingly high volume of data (mobile, social and geo-locational data) continues to be put on the cloud, smart businesses are realizing the importance and benefits of accessing and analysing data on on-premise systems. Companies and businesses who did not consider business intelligence in the cloud will start changing their views and face questions. They would then decide that the answer is to store, access and analyse their data in one place on cloud.