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The 2015 Outlook for Big Data

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DARPA_Big_DataBig Data. It’s a buzzword uttered by both industry experts and business professionals; a marketing term and industry description bandied about by techies and creative types alike. Everyone acknowledges how important it is and its unlimited potential in affecting how decisions are made in various areas of our lives.

However, that’s all it has actually been thus far: potential. Big Data gives us the ability to gather and access data online, regardless of whether that information comes from open sources or behind layers of cyber-security. But we have yet to maximise this data and harness it to its fullest capacity.

That will change in the years to come. Many say we are at a tipping point. The ubiquity of mobile devices, cloud computing, and digital technology permeating every aspect of our lives will affect how all these volumes of information will be used and processed.

Here’s how 2015 will prove to be big data’s break out year.

  1. The Democratisation of Big Data

Big data will soon cease to be the exclusive domain of tech-adept users and early adopters. For the most part, only those with technical know-how or special access have the ability to consume and utilise big data to their advantage. This will change as more and more companies, businesses, and organisations move their data to a public cloud environment, thereby making information readily available to and easily accessible even to the so-called non-techie crowd. Whereas the usual practice is to ask an IT person to retrieve reports from data warehouses, such gatekeepers will soon become unnecessary.

2.  More Digital Learning

It just makes so much sense to use all that available data towards furthering the cause of good education. It’s already a widely used medium of instruction as it is, from how-to YouTube videos to websites dedicated to teaching everything from crafts to literature to business finance up to Massive Open Online Courses. Educational technology lives and breathes data, and influential decision makers are starting to put in more resources into digital learning. Expect more improvements in this sector as improvements are implemented not just in pushing educational content, but in changing how and when learners and instructors grade and assist students in learning their course materials.

3.  Personalised Medicine

Imagine a world where doctors prescribe medicines that’s been custom made to fit your specific level of activity, health status, and personal lifestyle. Your customised drugs might even be so specialised as to respond to your genome or personal DNA structure. Experts say that this scenario can happen in the not so distant future, thanks to big data analytics. Generic treatments and one-size-fits-all solutions could be irrelevant once the technology to make personalised medicine possible becomes available for all.

4. The Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data

Our increasing dependence on all things mobile and digital is undeniable. With the advent of advanced interconnectivity devices and its widespread usage, the ability to not just access big data, but to also effectively utilise it for specific purposes comes into the picture. Tech experts are finding new ways and creating new technologies that will combine high volume data tools with less dense databases. They need to find out how they can merge different forms of big data, with its seemingly endless variety and velocity, to analyse and respond to specific business needs. However they go about doing this, it will change how we interact with big data in innovative and responsive ways.

5. Mobile Accessibility

The smartphone, iPad or Phablet you have in your hand will soon give you the ability to access high level business intelligence tools that only a few years ago required the services of IT gatekeepers or the expertise of data mavens. The Analytics App for the iPad is already being offered in the market, as well as the Databox for Enterprise, a mobile business intelligence platform that’s been created with decision makers rather than tech-savvy experts in mind.

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