The death of Big Data: 2016 predictions

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Big data has been a trending topic in 2015, but some are predicting that Big Data isn’t as big of a deal as everyone has hyped it up to be. Data is growing faster than it’s ever grown before — about 1.7 megabytes of information will be created every second for each human being by 2020. Still, only 23 percent of companies have a Big Data strategy in place. Is it all worth it? Here are some industry predictions for Big Data in 2016.

The end is near for Big Data

Anne Moxie, analytics analyst of Nucleus Research

In 2012, we predicted that BI adoption would double for 2013 because of improved usability and lower costs as a result of the cloud, and that Big Data would continue to take off. Technology marketers agreed, and in the past two years everyone and their dog seems to have launched a Big Data solution of some kind. It’s time for the shiny object syndrome to stop. With accessibility up and costs down, the line between Big Data analysis and good old business analytics is blurring, and the same users are incorporating Big Data techniques, often without moving from their current solutions.

These two factors have increased the accessibility of analytics solutions, and, over the last two years, our expectation has been confirmed. Since 2013, we have seen an increasing convergence of analytical tools and methods. Now, with analytics pervasive in nearly every organization, these same users are incorporating big data techniques, often without moving from their current solutions.

A few vendors currently allow the entry-level user to be able to analyze multi-terabyte and petabyte stores of data without batting an eye, which is evidence for the democratization of Big Data. Moving forward, we see that vendors are continuing to build for customers’ increasing demands for accommodating datasets from databases such as MongoDB or Cloudera. In 2016, Nucleus predicts that these capabilities will exponentially grow and Big Data will be dead. Instead of attacking the monolithic and daunting task of Big Data analysis, users will approach and access it like any data. This is the next step in the democratization of data movement and will bring advanced capabilities into the hands non-technical analysts. Soon there will be nothing special about Big Data.

Big data is mainstream, but it’s not about big

Sharmila Mulligan, CEO and cofounder of ClearStory Data, Inc.

Big Data is no longer a buzzword. It’s mainstream, says Gartner, Inc. The definition has changed where big is more influenced by data variety and velocity versus volume. When it comes to volume of data, big is relative. In 2016, companies will move away from irrelevant data noise, acknowledge that the variety and speed of data can be daunting, and will take a more thoughtful approach to analyzing “useful” data to reach fast, meaningful, holistic insights. Rather than investing time and money in IT infrastructure to manage high volumes of data, the trick will be managing the data diversity and speed at which data streams to glean valuable insights and to do something worthwhile with it.

“Shiny object syndrome” gives way to increased focus on value

John Schroeder, CEO and cofounder of MapR Technologies, Inc.

In 2016, the market will focus much less on the latest and greatest “shiny object” software downloads and more on proven technologies that provide fundamental business value. New community innovations will continue to garner attention, but in 2016, companies will increasingly recognize the attraction of software that results in business impact, rather than focusing on raw Big Data technologies.

Best-of-breed loses luster, industry consolidation

Stefan Groschupf, CEO of Datameer, Inc

When a technology category is new, various companies emerge with individual products that aim to provide a solution for a portion of the space. This leaves customers buying a number of tools and trying to learn how to use them together. Eventually, that just won’t do, and customers tend toward an integrated stack of products – or a widely scoped product – from a single vendor. 2016 will mark the beginning of that transition for Big Data products.

A number of acquisitions have taken place over the last two years as larger organizations try to fill holes in their offerings, shrinking the number of pure-play, standalone Big Data vendors. That will continue this year and likely reach critical mass.

Data analysis will become social via wisdom of the crowd

Sharmila Mulligan, CEO and cofounder of ClearStory Data, Inc.

Like the social business collaboration trend that followed consumer social media revolution, collaborative data exploration will arrive and become a big thing in 2016. Based on the “the wisdom of crowds,” various experts will weigh in on data analysis, or let external stakeholders collaborate and make decisions based on shared data insights presented in-context. No matter where users are located, what time zone, they can all collaborate on a data analysis storyboard and follow the observations and discoveries in context.

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