Predictions for Big Data in 2014

by Zachary Zeus
February 28, 2014

Pentaho’s CEO, Quentin Gallivan, has recently published his four predictions for Big Data in 2014.

Below is a summary of those predictions, and my thoughts about how these predictions might apply in our region.

1. Business Analytics will be driven by users’ demand for data blending.

Gallivan’s interactions with Pentaho’s biggest US customers suggest that in 2014, business users will be working to tap into blended data and gain new insight from a 360 degree customer view.  They will then use this information to design and target marketing offers.

In this region, local companies have tended to rely on smart people and manual processes to blend data sources and identify insights.  Despite current investment in business analytics technology lagging the US market, I feel the demand from business users will drive similar investment in Australia.

2.  IT will be looking for analytics and big data technologies that will work together.

New technologies – from both open-source and enterprise vendors such as Hadoop and NoSQL – high speed databases, and new analytics platforms, have shaken up established practices for business analytics.  The wide range of products becoming available, means IT teams are revisiting their reference architectures and design processes, to better manage increasingly heterogeneous environments.

In our region, organisations appear to be watching and waiting to see which reference architectures are adopted by the mainstream, before investing significant funds in their own systems.  These same organisations are testing and piloting new technologies to solve niche problems; learning about the new technology and evaluating it; without making a major commitment.  Short, targeted projects that solve immediate business problems allow these organisations to tactically move forward while strategically evaluating these technologies.

3. Increasingly rapid innovation from the big data open source community.

New open source projects like Hadoop 2.0, YARN and STORM are enabling more real-time, on-demand blending of information. These new technologies are significantly reducing the cost of storage.  Expenditure is now between 10 and 100 times less than in recent years. This brings to light previously “dark data”, held on tape or other data sources not available to real-time analytics.

In this region, we are seeing an exciting trend emerge, as clients use these new technologies to reinvent their business model – from pure product distributors to organisations that sell the value in the information and insight stored in previously unavailable data.

4.  The current tools are no longer sufficient.

The tools of today are not keeping pace with the demand for real-time blending and predictive analytics.  All vendors, including Pentaho, are working hard to produce new products, tools and plugins faster than ever before.

As new technology is developed, pluggable platforms are being constructed; designed to take advantage of these innovations with minimal investment in re-engineering.

Traditionally, companies in our region are slower to adopt new innovation and generally take a wait-and-see approach. However, this recent wave of innovation is being adopted early by local companies.  Big data is being used in new and innovative ways, to solve business needs and launch new products and services.

We believe that the trend towards pluggable architectures is providing confidence that individual components are able to work together, that the right tool can be adopted for each job, and that there is no need to standardise across the board.

2014 is an exciting year for using big data technologies in small and nimble ways.

Quentin Gallivan’s original article is available here.

About the author

Zachary Zeus is Managing Director and Principal Consultant for Bizcubed, the Pentaho Premium Partner for Australian and New Zealand.

Zachary holds an MBA from New York University and is on the Postgraduate Advisory Board for the School of Information Technology at the University of Sydney. His firm is a business intelligence enabler for ASX 100 companies and government agencies. He has been a guest speaker at the Australian Computer Society, the Australian Open Source Conference and the Pentaho Partner Summit.

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