Five Big Data Trends for 2015

Five Big Data Trends for 2015

The future is approaching rapidly and we are about to enter 2015. Therefore it is time to look ahead and see which Big Data trends we can expect to take of in 2015. Where is the market heading and which areas should we keep a close look at. Earlier I reviewed the Big Data trends that I described for 2014 and after having done thorough research again I would like to share my thoughts for the Big Data trends for 2015:

A Connected Future: The Internet of Things Taking Off

I have mentioned it before, but 2015 will be the year of the Internet of Things. Next year we are going to hear a lot about new connected products that will be launched. Gartner recently named the Internet of Things at the peak of inflated expectations in their Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies. The Internet of Things is therefore at the peak of the hype and in 2015 we will see this become concrete. We are reaching a tipping point, as in the past years sensors have become so cheap and small, there is a wide range of easy-to-connect to IoT platforms and the consumer is getting used to the idea of connected devices.

The next year we will therefore be flooded with new smart and connected devices. Either via crowd funding campaigns via for example Kickstarter or products from large corporations that hit the market via the normal way. All of these items will be linked to some sort of platform, such as for example Apple’s Homekit, or have easy to use dashboards that can be accessed via your smartphone, tablet or smartwatch.

All these connected devices offer unlimited possibilities for consumers and organizations and will infiltrate every aspect of our lives. Already today we see smart thermostats that know when you are in the house. We have smart toothbrushes that tell you if you are brushing your teeth correctly. There are even smart diapers that inform you about the health of your child. The possibilities for the Internet of Things are basically endless and expectations for the size of the market range from $3 to $ 14 trillion. All these connected devices will create massive amounts of data that can be used to improve our lives and make it more comfortable, efficient and effective. 2015 will be the first year that the Internet of Things hits the masses.

A Shift Towards Data-Driven Cultures

Big Data requires a culture shift if you truly want to reap all the benefits of a Big Data strategy. Shockingly, according to IBM, 1 in 3 business leaders do not trust the information they use in the decision-making and thus are reluctant to make data part of their company culture. However, in the past years, Big Data has gained so much traction and there are ample use cases of companies successfully implementing a data-driven culture that this is about to change.

In 2015 we will see a shift towards data-driven cultures. According to David Cearley, Gartner VP and Fellow, “analytics will become deeply, but invisibly embedded everywhere.” Big Data in the end remains a people’s questions and more and more organizations will understand the benefits of a Big Data strategy and thus will have to change their culture. Companies will see the benefits reaped by and the competitive advantage of large data-driven organizations and want to join the pack. When the IT infrastructure is ready for centralized data storage and processes are in place that ensure layered access to the data (based on user roles) and the right policies are in place including smart real-time dashboards, a data-driven culture is a logical consequence.

Owning Up to Your Own Identity – Claiming Your Personal Data

The debate on data ownership is not yet over. In fact, we are just getting started. Consumers around the world are waking up from the “free services/products” dream and understand that ‘free’ services like Gmail, Facebook or Twitter are actually paid for with data. Consumers are becoming more aware of the value of their data and they are less willing to give companies their sensitive data for free. According to a survey from TRUSTe, a privacy management firm, the percentage of US adults opting out of online behavioural advertising increased from 27% to 50%.

In 2015 we can expect a rise in startups that approach personal data from a new perspective. Already we see various personal data marketplaces that allow consumers to sell their data to companies. Examples include Handshake, who want to cut out data brokers such as Acxiom, Ctrlio, who are developing a platform for individuals to become more in control of their own data or DIME, a Dutch startup that wants to enable consumers to make money with their data. 2014 also saw the launch of Ello, an ad-free social network alternative to existing social networks like Facebook or Twitter. These initiatives are just the beginning and 2015 will see a rapid growth in such personal data startups.

Big Data Security Analytics Gaining Traction

When dealing with Big Data, security is key. In the Big Data trends overview for 2014, this was also an important aspect and in 2015 this will remain the case. High volumes of valuable data attract criminals and as long as quantum teleportation is not yet possible, data can and will be hacked. That offers big opportunities for Big Data Security Analytics. According to Alvaro Cardenas, lead author of the report in the CSA press release, "the goal of Big Data analytics for security is to obtain actionable intelligence in real time".

The coming year we will see a lot of different new tools that will leverage large quantities of structured and unstructured data to analyse and detect in real-time any possible security threat. Already there are quite a few Big Data startups that focus on security analytics such as 405labs, focusing on customized advanced security analytics, Sentinel Labs, which focuses on real-time forensics and 360-degrees attack visibility, or fiD3 that focuses on dark data discovery to protect organizations.

Although there are still quite some challenges that must be overcome to truly benefit from Big Data Security Analytics, for example how to analyse, detect and stop a security threat in real-time using massive amounts of different structured and unstructured data sources, 2015 will see an increase in traction for security analytics.

Time to Experiment with Data Lakes

Data storage has become so cheap these days, that organizations can almost store any data they want, whether they will immediately use it or not. Having a data lake, gives users instant and easy access to all that data and you don’t need to design a data model beforehand.

Pentaho CTO James Dixon is credited with coining the term "data lake".  As he described it in a blog entry, "If you think of a datamart as a store of bottled water – cleansed and packaged and structured for easy consumption. Translate this into the data version of the term and the contents of the data lake stream in from a source to fill the lake, and various users of the lake can come to examine, dive in, or take samples.”

Apart from instant access to all data, another advantage of a data lake, is that it can contain any type of data from structured log data to unstructured audio, video or text data. Although there are many advantages, experts say that they organizations should use it in conjunction with traditional data warehouses. Data lakes are relatively new, but in 2015 we will see more organizations experiment with data lakes.

Well, that’s it for 2015. The overall Big Data trend and market is constantly evolving and organizations are getting better in benefiting from their data. Once again, an interesting year awaits us with fascinating new developments ahead of us.

Image Credit: ra2studio/Shutterstock
Dr Mark van Rijmenam
Dr Mark van Rijmenam

Dr Mark van Rijmenam is The Digital Speaker and available for (virtual) keynotes in-person or as avatar or hologram. He is the Founder of Datafloq and Mavin. Van Rijmenam is the author of the three best-selling management books, including The Organisation of Tomorrow, which discusses how AI, blockchain and analytics turn your business into a data organisation. He holds PhD in management from the University of Technology Sydney on how organizations should deal with Big Data, Blockchain and (Responsible) AI and he is the publisher of the ‘f(x) = ex‘ newsletter read by thousands of executives.

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