Big data is a big trend among many companies, spanning multiple industries. It’s easier than ever to collect and record data. The big question now is what to do with all the information. As more and more companies get on board with big data, more trends emerge in how it’s used, how it’s handled, and the people and technology behind it.
Here are some of the biggest trends in big data for 2017.
1. Instant Gratification
Big data is now expected to perform for companies. Increasingly, those in the upper echelons want to see results—and results will be what drives big data projects forward in 2017 and beyond. CEOs and managers will ask for actionable items. Showing what has been done is helpful, but they increasingly want to know what they can and should be doing.
Similarly, those working with big data and on big data projects will be asked to prove the value of their projects. The field will become more results-driven than ever before.
2. Ongoing Cloud Migration
Companies and individuals alike have adopted the cloud en masse, with cloud usage growing exponentially in 2016. Expect cloud migration to continue into 2017 and beyond as more business owners realize the advantages the technology brings to their operations.
Of course, big data support and functionality aren’t the only advantages the cloud has, but it does provide companies with more opportunities to harness their data with ease and flexibility.
3. Mining Dark Data
Businesses have been looking forward, as evidenced in their movement to the cloud, but they’ve also been peering into their rear-view mirrors. Dark data has been languishing in many places—on paper, in run-of-the-mill logs, and the like.
Yet this “dark” data still has relevance for many companies, even if it has not yet been harnessed or appears to be irrelevant. While it may not seem all that important to analyze data collected as an everyday process, rather than a specifically stated objective, the numbers can show general trends.
Those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it, and companies are taking heed of this age-old wisdom by excavating their dark data.
4. Coming Together
As already mentioned, companies are adopting the cloud. Bolstering that move is the increasingly dense Internet of Things (IoT), which connects various devices and programs—often using the cloud as a central repository for the information collected.
Big data is on course to collide with these two trends, and the three of them will face an increasing amount of machine learning in 2017 and beyond. Artificial intelligence (AI) is coming back en vogue, and companies are adopting it as a way to get a better handle on the sheer amount of data they’re handling, as they try to keep data lakes from becoming data swamps.
5. Less Talk about Big Data
One trend many people noted in 2016 was less and less talk about “big data” itself—something that’s continuing into 2017. It’s quite likely that, within the next few years, talking about big data will make you look like a relic from 2010.
Big data isn't falling out of favour, and companies most certainly aren't abandoning it. It’s just not necessary to talk about big data as its own separate entity anymore—it’s become such a normalized part of business operations that talking about it like something new and different makes you seem a little out of touch with the times—somewhat like calling the internet the “information superhighway” would raise a few eyebrows.