The recent years have witnessed revolutionary changes in technology and processes adopted by businesses and organizations the world over. An enterprise’s workload and data has also rapidly evolved, diversified and increased colossally to such an extent that novel technologies and initiatives are being tapped into for data management. One such emerging technology is Big Data which resolves the emerging problem of data management. Big Data is a concept and initiative being increasingly followed by companies to manage data having volume, velocity and variety too great to be addressed effectively by conventional technologies, skills and infrastructure.

The year 2017 witnessed an upsurge in Big Data trend, with enterprises increasingly capitalizing on the opportunities to tap big data for an emerging range of business endeavors and to transform business processes in a smarter and more strategic manner. Big Data shows a promising future and the following predictions can be made for the coming year 2018:

Upcoming, specific job roles: Businesses are in dire need of data scientists, data engineers and other employees familiar with dealing in big data language and processes. A study carried out by IBM predicts up to 700,000 new job openings to become available by the year 2020, for these specialized positions related to Big Data. Companies will also have to incorporate changes and upgradations in most other sectors to incorporate Big Data related activities. Thus, the IT section will not be the only section to witness changes as traditional job descriptions will also evolve for successful data implementation.

Increased accessibility to machine-learning methods: Companies are increasingly considering implementation of machine-learning tools that can identify specific patterns in data streams. Data scientists can exploit from a growing range of choices of open-source machine-learning frameworks including Google’s TensorFlow, Apache MXNet, Facebook Caffe2, and Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit.

Redefining data infrastructure: Data warehouses, data lakes and data marts can no longer manage and govern data processes. It is expected that nearly 33% of the enterprises will withdraw their data lakes. Businesses will have to re-assess their infrastructure designs in order to efficaciously navigate this change. On-boarding and connecting is the new focus, whether it is capturing sensor data and on-boarding it in the cloud or conventionally housing it inside a firewalled data center.

“Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the web like deer on a freeway.” – Geoffrey Moore

Connected networks will be in the limelight: Connected consumer devices are expected to generate a massive wave of Big Data. Enterprises should prepare themselves either by defining their data architecture or by ascertaining new lines of business to compete effectively in the market. According to ZDNet reviews, for the first time, the number IoT devices exceeded the world’s population in 2017 and the values are expected to reach a tipping point when orders of magnitude become greater than the industrial internet.

Focused customer services: E-commerce businesses can take the assistance of Big Data analytics to track past purchases and shopping patterns to better understand their customers. This will benefit businesses to personalize their services and gain significant boosts in sales.

Cloud-first strategy: As per reports, it is anticipated that 50% of enterprises will adopt a cloud-first strategy for big data analytics. Enterprises will look for increased control over costs and greater flexibility as compared to what on-premises software can deliver and hence, 50% of the enterprises are expected to embrace a public-cloud-first policy in 2018 for data, big data, and analytics.

AI takes center-stage: 2017 has been dominated by Siri, Alexa, and Twitter bots proving further that AI is gradually inching closer to reality and enterprises are realising its potential. By 2018, many companies including tech giants like Dell will begin implementing AI into their daily operations.

Undoubtedly, Big Data is shaping the manner in which enterprises carry out business. 2018 is expected to usher in several important changes and trends and enterprises should prepare themselves for these developments and capitalize these opportunities offered by Big Data.  

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