Big Data: Looking back at advancements in 2017 and likely trends for 2018

2018 will be remembered as a growth year with technology convergence between Big Data and other technologies

Updated: Mar 5, 2018 04:41:51 PM UTC
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Bidding farewell to 2017 and just in the third month of 2018, we observe marked differences in the Big Data space. Last year’s trends focused on major themes such as: management of Big Data, security and privacy of the data and its access, emergence of cloud as a front runner in data management, tempering of hype and expectation cycles, emergency of internet of things (IoT) as a major data generator, emergence of new tools in the end-to-end data management and data governance space, emergence of self-service analytical tools where they catered to data ingestion, manipulation, wrangling, analytics and reporting, and artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) got good traction. Overall, 2017 has turned out to be a year of Technology Strategy rather than a business-focused strategy, with many organisations having ventured into PoC on AI, ML and Data Science. The year gone by also saw emergence of NoSQL databases in a fierce competition to Hadoop Storage.

The year that will be
Infonomics and data monetisation ideas will take root in 2018, which would try to put a value on the data that has been captured. Organisation will focus on what data they capture, value of that data and how difficult it is to monetise it. Strategies will soon be out on Information products functions, by inventorising the data assets, identify direct & indirect revenue streams for each info asset and feasibility study of these assets. In the next two years, at least 15 percent of the organisations will have a profitable business unit for converting their information assets into commercially valuable assets.

Infonomics will also lead to the capture of data assets that have high quality, low cost to store and high business value. Data assets will be disposed-off that are higher to capture and retain compared to their business value.

Industry trends indicate substantial investments will take place in the insurance and chemical industries. Healthcare, energy, industrial products, education and other sectors would follow, except for government and media where there will be minimal increase. The insurance industry will invest in building more data assets to understand their customers better from their current siloed applications. They will also spend more to meet customer expectations in their sales, service and mobile applications.

Chemical industries will be able to increase their spend due to the low price of the petroleum products. Industrial products will adopt IoT and more embedded software technologies, thereby increasing their tech budgets. Travel and construction companies will also adopt IoT for route and load optimisation. Insurance, education will up their spend due to the adoption of online services and mobile apps.

Cloud deployments will also pick up speed in this year with more going the cloud route compared to 2017. Large enterprises are beginning to adopt cloud-based data lakes to increase collaboration and cross pollination of ideas, using analytics and big data technologies. However, hybrid clouds will gain more traction due to the niggling hesitation in going completely on to Cloud.

The European Union’s PSD2 directive will bring in new competition among banks but also more options for customers, with more investments coming in data sharing and data analytics.

More promising technologies like AI and ML are still on a lower maturity curve due to the mathematical knowledge associated with them. They will take a few more years to be adopted full-fledged by the mainstream businesses.

Analytical tools that offer full set of features such as: data wrangling, collaboration, advanced analytics, automation and visualisation will gain more traction in 2018, with the proliferation of citizen data scientists and more self-service demand from the business users. ETL and reporting tools could face fresh challenges due to the advent of these tools.

2018 will be remembered as a growth year with technology convergence between Big Data and other technologies.

Text analytics will gain a reasonable traction in 2018, with the increased emphasis put on to deciphering the complexly worded contracts for renewals and contract optimisation. Similarly, Virtual Reality will find more applications and their need for analytics will grow. Voice recognition systems and voice-based search will be making an entry into the already complex world of technologies through Alexa and Siri.

In essence we can see a Year of Intelligence, 2017, transitioning into Year of Value Realisation, 2018.

By  K N Rao – Senior Principle Architect, Data & Analytics, Infosys
Debashis Munshi – Senior Architect, Data & Analytics, Infosys

The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

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