Oh how fast a year goes by. From the release of our data replication tool, FlyData Sync, to new additions to our team, we feel like 2014 was a remarkable time. But like many of you, what we’re truly looking forward to is 2015, a year that I think will be a big year for the expansion of Big Data usage. After all, more traditional industries are starting to adopt big data technologies and are benefitting from the insights derived from them. According to the International Data Corporation, the worldwide Big Data and Analytics market will reach an astounding value of $125 billion this year. A pretty large number, compared to last year’s predictions of $16.1 billion for the big data market and $4.5 billion for the big data analytics market. Along with the IDC and many others, I’m expecting this year to be filled with advancements in the field of big data. Here are three areas I think will be particularly notable in 2015:
# 1. The Internet of Things
Did you follow this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES)? If you’re not in the know, CES is an internationally renowned electronics trade show, where companies, both big and small, show off not only their products and services, but their own visions for the future of technology. This year, the overarching theme of the show was The Internet of Things. Surely you have heard that term plenty of times, but there is no doubt that 2015 will be a big year for connectivity if the products and proof-of-concepts of the showfloor find their way into the market. The term is quite vague (and overused), but it makes more sense as you discover the devices that empower it. From interconnected smart sensors to lighting systems that dim or brighten according to movie modes, many of the biggest companies are betting big this year on devices that communicate and send data to each other. Naturally, the next step after connected devices is the platform (how to exchange data from and between devices) and the innovation in data usage (what to do with the collected data). CES featured many device innovations, but to truly realize the benefits of IoT, there needs to be great software that integrates all of it. We should see more platform plays, as well as software innovations that make use of this collected data. We might also see dedicated analytics services for IoT as data collection gets dramatically cheaper.
So what does IoT have to do with big data in 2015? Well, there are many implications that come with IoT-enabled devices generating massive streams of data. For instance, imagine equipping a whole workforce with IoT-enabled devices. That could generates terabytes of data everyday! However, with already existing data warehousing technologies and big data tools, data originated from IoT technology has the potential to create value in many industries. Similarly, the IDC has an optimistic outlook on the future of IoT and its possible impact in the business world, as stated in their IDC Futurescape Web Conference. In the end, it’s all about creating an ecosystem of devices that communicate with each other, and with all these renowned companies affirming their commitment to IoT, I believe that 2015 is the year that we can finally see that start to happen.
# 2. Big Data Security
Security is even more crucial as intellectual property, credit card data, health records, and etc. are becoming digitized and stored in our databases. 2014 was a year of many cyber attacks and even many renowned companies like Chase and Sony Entertainment had breaches. Plenty of organizations, like the two mentioned earlier, are also data-driven and leverage both structured and unstructured data from different sources such as databases or logs and they may be fed into common destinations, such as a data warehouse. With the magnitude of last year’s hacks, I believe that tightening cybersecurity will be a top priority for them in 2015.
On the other hand, big data insights can be used to help increase security. Big data analytics have the potential to complement existing security methods. For instance, big data analytics that find and track trends can be similarly used to find discrepancies in behaviors and patterns that may hint at suspicious and/or malicious activity.
# 3. Faster Growth in the Big Data Market
Volume, variety, and velocity. The three basic characteristics of big data (what many call the “Three V’s of Big Data”) tell us that information is coming in all kinds of forms, in large amounts, and at really fast rates. Years ago, the big data tools required to process this kind of information were only available to the biggest companies with the most resources, but now even smaller organizations have the potential to become big data-driven (and they probably need to, just to keep up with the competition), with big data tools such as Amazon Redshift (and FlyData Sync!) becoming easily accessible for enterprise organizations and even small startups. According to Gartner, 85% of Fortune 500 companies aren’t yet prepared to take advantage of Big Data, so as these big data tools become more widespread (and cheaper), companies will scramble to become more data-driven in order to stay competitive.