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5 areas to watch in big data in 2015

Bruce Dahlgren senior vice president, Enterprise Services and Managing Director, Asia Pacific and Japan, HP | Jan. 20, 2015
The five key areas for organizations to address to ensure success in 2015 are democratization of big data, the growth of unstructured data, predictive analytics as the norm, the impact of big data on IT operations, and empowering big data for everyone.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

How organisations approach the challenges of big data will be key to their success. There are five areas business leaders should watch out for in 2015:

Democratisation of big data analytics

Over the past year, there has been incredible growth in the use of cloud-based data analytics services, and the cost-effective nature of the cloud will only accelerate this trend. Even organisations that once thought advanced data analytics were out of their realm of possibility can now begin managing and analysing both structured as well as unstructured data, quickly and cost-effectively.

Essentially, the cloud will offer a greater array of choices for organisations to hit their desired big data benefit/price point trade-off, as well as lower the bar for companies looking to experiment with big data, particularly unstructured data.

Unstructured data grows

Unstructured data volumes - comprised of things like human information, from social media, video, audio, and pictures, machine sensor data, Internet of Things (IoT) data, and business data in various formats of work documents - will continue to grow at a mind-boggling rate.

According to industry commentators, IoT data, excluding PCs, tablets and smartphones, could grow to 26 billion connected devices by 2020. With countries such as China, Australia and Korea contributing to this trend, regional organisations will increasingly seek solutions that can tie structured and unstructured data sources together virtually and generate connected intelligence from social media and video analytics. This will give greater context to the structured data that most organisations have come to rely on.

Predictive analytics becomes the norm

Predictive analytics will evolve beyond the next "cool thing", to a "you better have it or else" type of functionality. Reengineering for big data will be critical as business processes must be geared toward action at the speed of insight.

There's no value in identifying what customers are doing every minute of the day if you can't respond predictively and proactively. By the time you've ETL'd (extract, transform and load) the data in some warehouse or Hadoop cluster, it's too late. Organisations will re-engineer their big data environments to enable information streams, from both within and beyond the enterprise, to be accessed, analysed and shared in real time. This will be the key to increasing revenue, improving knowledge worker productivity, and lowering costs.

Big data will change IT operations

Companies who "get" big data are going to apply big data principles and practices to their internal IT operations first and foremost, long before they're used for marketing and customers.

For years, we've heard that "IT is the business." Big data will become the basis of competition and growth for individual firms, and the most logical place to exploit big data benefits will be an analysis of IT machine data itself, identifying ways to reduce waste and maximize productivity across the IT environment.

 

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