Big data is a hot topic in modern information technology, increasing in importance on a daily basis. And it is largely thanks to the rise of cloud computing that big data has broken into the mainstream and become a viable resource for businesses and organisations of all shapes and sizes.
The latest IDC figures indicate that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the big data market will be 26.4 per cent until at least 2018, meaning that it is expanding at six times the speed of the IT industry as a whole.
Big data is effectively an umbrella term within which sit a number of related technologies and disciplines, all of which feed into the process of storing and analysing the immense volumes of information being generated by businesses globally. So from machine learning and artificial intelligence through to the processes involved in predictive analytics, there are numerous exciting sub-disciplines within big data, many of which are receiving a great deal of media attention in their own right.
But where does big data stand today and how will the market change over the course of 2016 and into the future?
Assessing Early Adoption
Big data has been on the radar for years, with a range of major businesses embracing it as early as possible in order to gain competitive advantage. And in some instances this has led CIOs to wonder where to go next with the technology, according to Information Week.
The next step is, of course, to ensure that organisations are capable of bridging the gap between collecting information in significant quantities and actually being able to analyse it in order to generate important insights which can be acted upon.
The upshot of this is the maturation of the market, which is already taking place as providers become more numerous and competition increases.
Creating New Roles
The pressures placed upon businesses following big data adoption will invariably lead to changes in organisational structure to ensure that opportunities are not being wasted. And so chief data officer could become a more common executive position, according to Forrester Research spokesperson Brian Hopkins.
Of course the demand for skilled professionals to fill such roles will be greater than the supply until the market has matured.
With big data experts thin on the ground, vendors are aiming to make their platforms rather simpler to use. This will ensure that business users who are not particularly technically literate can still harness big data and analytics in an effective manner, in some cases even building apps without the need for coding experience.
One key element is expected to accelerate this process; namely the automation of analytics, made possible by the maturation of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. This will give human users the assistance they need to grapple with the complexities of big data without becoming overwhelmed.
In turn, enhanced analytics should drive improved productivity and ultimately unlock the true potential of big data.