Big Data is huge. With nearly 2.3 trillion gigabytes of data created every single day and the data universe doubling every two years, there's no denying that data is, and will continue to be, shaping our world. To your everyday user of tech, it may not seem like it, but big data trends are constantly changing and evolving.
We've already brought you the trends we expect to see in business intelligence in 2018, but what can you expect for big data in 2018? Although these are the top changes we predict, the rapidly evolving nature of this field means we're likely to be in for some surprises, too.
Here's our take.
1. We'll Finally Leverage Dark Data
Despite all the buzz about the unprecedented volumes of data that humanity generates every day, the fact remains that databases all over the world remain in analog form, un-digitized, and thus untapped regarding analytics.
The coming year will witness increased digitization of this "dark data," such as historical records, paper files, and many other forms of non-digital data recording. As this new wave of dark data enters the cloud, we can expect to see a major increase in the range of trends and cycles we can predict.
2. Breakdown of the Structured/Unstructured Boundary
A recent Forbes survey reports that the number of enterprises with more than 100 terabytes of unstructured data has doubled since 2016 — but that only 32% of those companies have succeeded in analyzing that data in any actionable way.
As deep learning algorithms become more capable of deriving useful insights with less human supervision, we expect to see unstructured data become an increasingly significant part of the big data ecosystem.
3. CDOs Take the Offensive
Chief Data Officers (CDOs) are taking increasingly high-level roles in organizational strategy. The same Forbes survey mentioned above finds that more than 50% of CDOs will report directly to the CEO in 2018, up from just 40% in 2017.
As data analytics become part of the core operations of an ever-increasing number of businesses, CDOs will take more active roles in shaping new initiatives, and will become common sights in executive boardrooms around the world.
4. Quantum Computing Enters the Conversation
In 2017, quantum computing was essentially just an exciting idea, supported by little more than a few promising case studies. And while commercial quantum computing is still several years away, 2018 will bring an increasing battery of tests from companies like Google, Intel, and the Turing Institute, all of whom have quantum computers in active development.
As the ability to crunch 10,000,000,000,000,000 numbers at once becomes a realistic possibility, the sheer scale of the data we discuss will rapidly begin to expand.
5. The Media Spotlight Descends at Last
"Big data" has been a buzzword for a few years now. However, in the wake of stories like alleged Russian influence in the US presidential election, Facebook's controversial political ads, and the massive Yahoo! data breach, the general public is beginning to recognize that big data has become an intimate aspect of all our lives.
While we can certainly (and sadly) expect more data-related scaremongering in 2018, we're also likely to see increasing media coverage of big data as a discipline, as a growing group of non-experts becomes more curious to find out how data analytics impact their lives.
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