Six Anticipated Directions for Big Data in 2015

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Chris_SurdakIn this special guest feature, Chris Surdak of HP provides his YAFFTY (Yet Another Forecast for This Year) list for 2015. Chris Surdak is Global Subject Matter Expert on Information Governance, analytics and eDiscovery for HP Autonomy. He provides guidance and expertise to C-Level executives in how Autonomy’s unique and revolutionary technology can transform how their businesses operate.

Don’t look now, but here is a Big Data YAFFTY: Yet Another Forecast for This Year!

Big Data Hype Will Reach a Frenzied Peak

Tired of Big Data hype? You haven’t seen anything yet! This year will bring Big Data chainsaws, Big Data breath mints and Big Data disposable wipes. I fully expect that Korean megastar Psy will change his name to Sir Hadoop-sa-lot, release a new hit song called, “Big Data Style” and will retake his title as most-watched person on YouTube. But don’t despair; somewhere in all of that noise the tech industry is indeed making major strides in creating real, value-added solutions.

Operations Catches Up With Marketing

Through 2014, most Big Data projects were either exploratory exercises by IT or rogue efforts driven by marketing. Most of the former were never intended to generate revenue, while most of the latter produced customer intelligence that could not be acted upon. In 2015, organizations will recognize that they must transform their internal operations BEFORE they analyze their customers. They must act at the speed of insight, otherwise insights have no value.

IoT Explodes, IoU Appears

2015 will be the year of the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart things are everywhere; there are smart toothbrushes, smart microwaves and smart light bulbs. As much as this may be cool – and perhaps a bit creepy – the IoT will pale in comparison to the coming Internet of Us (IoU), or data gathering gadgets that keep tabs on our every move and need. Digital tattoos, bionics, wifi-enabled pills and electronic implants will start to connect US to the Internet. The flood of information generated from IoT, and furthermore, IoU, will only grow and the need to manage and understand it will grow along with it. The opportunities are immense for businesses that are able to harness, analyze and deploy this data in ways that maintain consumers’ trust while providing demonstrable value.

Security, Privacy and Big Data Converge

Sony, Home Depot, iCloud, Sears, K-Mart – no doubt, 2014 was a pretty scary year for information security professionals. The only thing more surprising than the scale and scope of these attacks is the way in which the public seems to accept them as normal. In 2015, expect more exposure, more disclosure and more harm done by these systematic attacks. Defense against these attacks will be less about keeping the enemy out of the castle; it’ll focus instead on finding them inside of the castle, because they’re already there. Big Data tools will be used to detect and attack intrusions, and the industry will recognize that security is simply a Big Data use case.

Predictive Analytics Gives Way to Persuasive

Predictive analytics was huge in 2014. This will continue into 2015 with one key difference; predictive will yield to persuasive. In predictive analytics, you try to figure out what customers are going to do in the future. In persuasive analytics, you try to actually drive customer behavior so that you, and they, benefit. Predictive is about science, persuasive is about monetization. Which would your business prefer?

IT Either Gets on Board, or Not

IT departments have been getting a bad rap for the last several years. Dedicated infrastructures, waterfall development models and FAYOD (Forget About Your Own Device) policies just don’t cut it with today’s organizations. Some CIOs are embracing change, innovating and leading their organizations to dramatically-higher levels of performance. Others realize that their real role is to put information to work, and work to embrace these new ways of doing so. On the other hand are CIOs who are still considering having a meeting to discuss a plan for creating a strategy for cloud, BYOD and extreme coding… probably at an offsite. Big Data isn’t a project, it’s an approach. Big Data isn’t technology, it’s sociology. Organizations who understand this will do well in 2015. Those who don’t will still be at scheduled offsites developing a plan, while their more agile competitors increase strategic competitive advantage with every passing second.

In short, 2015 will be a year in which Big Data innovators in various industries continue to distance themselves from their respective packs. This year – and in the future — “data is the business.” If an organization fails to fully exploit information about their enterprise and customers, both within and beyond the enterprise, chances are their competitors will – and they’ll quickly gain an edge.


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  1. The only downside of the IoT and the IoU wave will be device security. The proliforation of gadgets that talk to one another will be the obvious increase in hackers who talk to them as well.

    • Chuck,

      Security isn’t really a downside of IoT and IoU, because security these days is largely an illusion. Despite all of our collective efforts (and they are necessary and good) nearly all business systems are already penetrated. Firewalls are speed bumps, and at best palliative.

      These days, if you’re not already proactively and predictively monitoring your systems, all of your valuable stuff is already gone.