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All eyes on big data in 2014

Posted by Aoife McMonagle on Jan 3, 2014 9:07:17 AM

As data management continues to make progress among businesses from a variety of industries and regions, new solutions and tools are rising in popularity. Big data has likely been one of the most powerful and transformative technologies in corporate computing to date, and many researchers believe that these tools will be relatively ubiquitous throughout the next several years. 

Global data volumes are rising rapidly, providing business leaders with a never-ending pot of potentially helpful information to analyze. As cloud computing has facilitated the launch of big data strategies for firms of all sizes, competition in the information analysis game will likely continue to heat up and impact a larger breadth of companies. 

Businesses, regardless of size or industry, can benefit from using more advanced corporate computing solutions and novel data management strategies, and many are already seeing this fact first hand. These solutions are becoming more accessible to the average corporate leader, with regard to cost and user-friendliness, and companies that have not yet weighed the decision to implement these tools should do so soon. 

VentureBeat recently listed some of the emerging trends that took shape in the big data and information analysis markets in the past year, asserting that analysis that leverages new solutions has become a science for many firms. Thus far, big data has been most commonly used in the marketing department, as individuals can get far more accurate views of behavioral trends in their target demographic. 

Advertising has been forever changed by social media and other Internet-based channels, while this shift into digital marketing has also led to an explosion of relevant data. According to the news provider, companies should not get ahead of themselves when launching big data strategies in the marketing department, as the process demands a highly structured and customized approach.

While many businesses are already using big data to better inform decision-making in the marketing and sales departments, simply throwing money at the strategy will not necessarily bring preferable returns. 

"This is kind of like when you decide, 'I'm going to get fit,'" data scientist John Foreman told the source. "You just buy all the tools first because you get this illusion of making progress. 'I've spent some of my budget. Something must be happening.'"

Instead, VentureBeat suggested carefully selecting techniques and technologies that align with corporate objectives and needs, as this approach will generally yield more positive and consistent outcomes. 

The road ahead
InformationWeek recently gathered statements from a variety of industry leaders and experts regarding their forecasts for big data in the new year. For one, Milind Kelkar of Smart Decisions Lab stated that the convergence of cloud computing and big data will continue to intensify, as businesses rely upon the two types of solutions in unison. 

"The data-information-insight-decision lifecycle will get shortened due to machine learning-based automated decision systems; increased adoption of cloud ETL to analyze on-premise and off-premise open data; open-source solutions such as R will replace legacy solutions like SAS; the number of offerings of reporting solutions embedded in cloud with 90-day deployment will increase," Kelkar told the source. 

This prediction also highlighted another trend in big data, which is real-time analysis of information from various locations. More companies are starting to use mobile-centric big data strategies that empower decision-making in a more timely fashion than was before possible, and demand for the solutions that enable these strategies will likely continue to rise. 

Going into 2014, business leaders might benefit from taking a comprehensive approach to IT management that brings together mobility, big data and cloud computing, along with other frameworks, for more efficient and productive operations. 

Topics: Big Data, Data Management