It’s that time of year again. Time to look into our crystal ball – actually the crystal balls of some experts – to see just how the big data landscape is shaping up for 2013.
Big data and the increasing need for firms to put into place data analysis strategies to take advantage of the reams of data flowing through their networks have dominated the tech headlines in 2012.
And the trend is not going away, according to several research groups that are predicting that big data management and staffing issues will top the agendas for many corporations in the New Year.
Many global companies don’t yet have data management strategies, according to the Gartner Inc. research report, “Gartner Predicts: Big Data and Information Infrastructure.” But as big data volume, variety and velocity continue to increase, organizations will be forced to develop and implement data analysis and management strategies, notes the report.
“Business users are demanding that analytic outputs are integrated into their daily operations,” according to the report. “Also, decisions from big data projects for decision support, and insights in the context of their role and job function, will expand from 28 percent of users in 2011 to 50 percent in 2014.”
By 2015, big data will create demand for 4.4 million jobs but only one-third of these jobs will be filled, according to the report.
Big data creates a new layer in the economy devoted to information and turning data into revenue, notes Peter Sondergaard, Gartner’s senior vice president and global head of research. But companies must put into place strategies to deal with the combination of structured and unstructured data that makes up this emerging economic layer, he adds.
“Dark data is the data being collected, but going unused despite its value and leading organizations of the future will be distinguished by the quality of their predictive algorithms. This is the CIO challenge, and opportunity,” Sondergaard says.
For its part, Forrester Research Inc. predicts that end user demand will be a primary driver of the data analysis trends for 2013. The research firm predicts that information workers demanding access to information anywhere, at any time will boost the need for multiple agile data analysis tools as opposed to those technologies that fit into a standards-based approach.
Additional predictions from Forrester include:
- Information workers are frustrated with having to wait for IT to answer their requests, thus they will continue to demand more control over their business intelligence tools.
- End user self-service features of BI tools, such as semantic layers and search capabilities, will become increasingly critical when selecting and deploying BI tools and solutions. “Surveys show that business drivers like ‘improve business planning,’ ‘gain an overall competitive advantage,’ ‘improve customer interaction and satisfaction’ and ‘make better-informed business decisions’ are at the top of the BI drivers list,” the report notes. “IT priorities take a back seat.”
- Demand for tools that do support the right amount of user self service will continue to grow.
- Big data will move out of isolated pockets of companies to an enterprise-wide focus. “The amount of data available is growing faster than enterprises’ ability to deal with it,” according to the report. “But big data approaches – techniques and technologies that make handling data at extreme scales affordable – can transform this data into insights. Big data will disrupt the data management landscape by changing fundamental notions about data governance and IT delivery, where a single version of the truth ceases to be absolute and becomes relative and contextual.”
- Data exploration will become core to business intelligence offerings. “Organizations must create these applications specifically for the business questions at hand in order to navigate the data effectively,” according to the report. “Information workers will demand the ability to explore data without preconceived notions, specific questions, or fixed, prebuilt data models in mind. Put simply, the business demands the flexibility to explore data on its own terms – so expect solutions that support exploration and freeform information discovery to become the new bread and butter of BI suites.”
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