You might think that the big data revolution is already in full swing. You’d be wrong. It can take decades for a big technological revolution to truly make its impact felt. And before you doubt it, big data is a technological revolution. It already is changing the landscape, like in real estate and health care. That will only accelerate as new uses get found, ideas get implemented and technologies that make use of it and that allow it to excel get rolled out (think the Internet of Things).
For that reason, you have to stay aware of what’s going on and what’s on the horizon. For that is where the real promise lies. Therefore, we’re going to look at the outlook for 2017, so that you can inform yourself and make the right decision about your big data policies.
Machine parts for big data
Just like machine parts for manufacture revolutionized construction, as it allowed one part to be replaced by another and small businesses to buy parts they knew to be compatible to construct finished products, so big data will experience a standardization revolution. More and more companies will come online with ready to use products that business can plug and play.
In this way, big data will continue to expand its reach and allow more and more medium to small retailers to jump on to the big data wagon.
That will mean that it will be possible for online businesses and their brick and mortar cousins too to embrace data-driven solutions that will allow them to become more efficient and to find where they’re losing customers to plug those holes. What that means for customers is that more of those niggling frustrations that they run into every day will be removed.
What it means for small businesses is that those that still haven’t embraced big data will feel the pressure rise to do so.
Deep learning and Big Data
It’s a match made in heaven. Big data is throwing up such torrents of data (Something that will only become even more true as the Internet of Things comes online) that human analysts simply can’t tackle them. And so, computers will need to take over ever more of the responsibility.
The best way to do that is through deep learning, as then it isn’t just the computer doing the raw number crunching, but also finding new innovative ways to crunch the numbers. As deep learning advances, therefore, we will see it take over the field of big data ever more.
Big Data will intrude more into the ‘real’ world
The prediction is that there will be around 10 billion devices online by 2020. That’s a hell of a lot of data! What’s more, this data will give us access to things that have largely been incomputable, as we didn’t have answer to the numbers.
Suddenly we’ll have access to everything that has sensors in it and what happens to it.
This will mean two things.
Incredible new insights into our world and our lives.
Entirely new number crunching methods have to be invented.
That second point is the most important here, as if you don’t position yourself correctly for the internet of things and the data it brings, you will struggle to take advantage. For example, these sensors will provide rivers of data that will need to be centrally stored and processed. This data will arrive in real time and what will generally be the most interesting are variations over time.
To get the best of that, businesses will need to know how they’re going to store that data. How they’re going to process it. Who is going to write the new algorithms that will be necessary to process it and need staff on hand that can write those algorithms. It won’t be an easy task, but for those who are ahead of the curve it will be well worth it.
The only way to get ahead of that curve, however, is to start today.
Big Data teams will become ever more diverse
Another prediction that we can comfortably make is that the big data teams will continue to change and grow to include an ever wider range of people. As big companies continue to realize that big data isn’t an IT thing but is a business wide strategy, more people will be brought in that have a wide variety of skills.
These include people who can inform business decision, understand logistics, as well as people who comprehend finances and have a deep understanding of the underlying math.
The reason that these people will be necessary is that the way big data will shape a company can only be fully understood if the company is fully understood. And though you can be certain that the IT department and the people working on big data there are doing their best, they look at the world in their own particular way.
And if you’ve got a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail.
To counter that, teams will have to become more diverse and more inclusive, so that the company will be well represented and the problems and solutions will actually be applicable to the company and her needs.
Big data is changing the world and will continue as we realize new needs and new ideas. That means that those people that are dropping their investment now, believing the revolution is done, might well find that they’ve missed the boat in a few years’ time.
Don’t end up in that position. Instead, realize that as the field transforms new opportunities and possibilities open up and that for the well positioned team who is ready for them, that can be an absolute gold mine.
Or don’t and find yourself out maneuvered by the competition. It’s up to you.