Part of the big data consultant’s job is to dust off the crystal ball and predict what big data trends need to concern customers in the year to come. Fortunately, if you are a big data consultant the immediate future shouldn't be all that cloudy. The trends that we have already seen gaining momentum in 2014 will continue into 2015, so it should be relatively easy for a big data consultant to prepare for the year to come. We are going to see more organizations focus on mining data from the Internet of Things (IoT); more use of unstructured multimedia data such as video and audio for analytics; and more focus on filling the gap for skilled big data labor.
IDC predicted that big data spending would reach $125 billion in 2015. A.T. Kearney is more conservative, predicting that global big data spending will grow at a CAGR of 30 percent through 2018, reaching a total market size of $114 billion. Signals and Systems Telecom forecasts a CAGR of 17 percent of the next six years with big data sales reaching $76 billion by 2020. Wikibon sees big data hitting $50.1 billion in 2015 up from $28.5 billion in 2014.
Whichever market analyst you choose to believe, the consensus is that big data is exploding, and part of the reason for that explosion is that it keeps embracing new metrics, new analytics, and new technologies that deliver new insight and more value. So what’s in store for the big data consultant in 2015? Here are few areas worth watching:
The Internet of Things
IoT is going to be a growing category for analytics with a predicted CAGR of 30 percent over five years. IoT puts more emphasis on machine sensors and devices that generate performance data that can be accessed via the network for analysis. In the world of big data, IoT is the data that can often be used to detect an anomaly in production or performance.
Part of this trend will be the expanding adoption of technology to continuously analyze streams of IoT data – it’s all going to be about delivering small units of data in near real time. The cloud and mobile will play a larger role as IoT backend as a service (BaaS) starts to emerge in 2015.
Triple the Rich Media for Analytics
IDC predicts that all large organizations will be using rich media for big data analytics within the next five years.
To date, half of all large organizations report that they are including audio, video, and images as part of the raw data for big data analytics. Rich media analytics are expected to triple in 2015 and will become a key driver for big data technology adoption and investment.
More Big Data Automation
Common processes and workflows will receive more scrutiny and be rationalized by big data. Automated systems will provide more data for analysis, and operations will become self-sustaining, with managers occasionally checking to make sure all is running smoothly.
This is partly going to be in response to the ongoing shortage in big data staff. Predictions are that there will be U.S. demand for 181,000 data scientists and analytics experts by 2018 and more than 900,000 positions that demand related data management skills.
The upshot is that analytics and machine learning powered by big data analytics will become more prevalent, filling the talent gap and offering cognitive computing for personal service.
More R Programmers and Storytellers
Beyond demand for Hadoop experts to program analytics, there will be even more demand for effective analytics interpretation. As part of the staffing shortage there the market will need more R programmers who will be able to command top dollar for their ability to turn raw analytical data into readable graphics.
In addition to the R programmers, there also will be more demand for interpretive experts; storytellers who can read the analytical output and apply the insight to real-world business problems.
What this Means for the Big Data Consultant?
So how do big data consultants prepare to take on these market changes? Determine where you can add value and fill the gaps.
Clearly the focus for the coming year is on gathering more data and delivering more analytics. That means working with more types of data for analytic input, delivering better real-time analysis, and providing more expertise in interpreting the analytics. The big data consultants’ value will be bringing the expertise needed to fill these gaps.
If you can assist customers with assimilation, automation, and analysis of big data, you will be certain to build your big data operation in 2015.