December 21, 2015

Big Data is now in the foreground of business intelligence. Anything that exists in the digital world has the potential to be recorded as data. Voice, video, text communication, online purchases, tax information, census statistics, online reviews and social media posts all now count as data, and any company that finds a way to leverage this virtual ocean of information will gain new opportunities for growth in the real world.

In the year ahead, the significance of Big Data’s role will continue to be solidified as more verticals subscribe to the benefits of Big Data and as businesses continue to realize just how powerful business intelligence can be. Let’s take a closer look:

The IoT and enterprise mobility will drive growth in the cloud

More Big Data will live in the cloud as the IoT takes hold within the next few years.More Big Data will live in the cloud as the IoT takes hold within the next few years.

According to Virtualization and Cloud News, approximately 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day. In large part, the continued proliferation of smartphones, tablets and wearable technology across the globe will add some steam to the Big Data train.

However, connected homes – which will entail everything from smart garage doors to intelligent refrigerators – smart grids and smart cities will generate massive amounts of new data. Research firm IDC has predicted that there will be over 28 billion connected devices in existence by 2020, as a result of the rise of the Internet of Things. Some of this growth will occur in 2016: Gartner has predicted that the number of connected devices will increase by 30 percent in the coming year.

The IoT is not the only breeding ground for data, especially not in the workplace. Enterprise mobility will create new sources of mobile-driven data that can ultimately cycle back into business analytics to improve processes and possibly even foster growth. According to a recent study, the enterprise mobility market is slated to be valued at around $500 billion by 2020.

Together, the IoT and mobile-first computing will foster the growth of cloud-based data, which is already substantial thanks to the virtualization of business networks and data centers. While data centers will continue to remain the backbone of the Internet for quite some time, Big Data’s hand is reaching into the cloud, and this means cloud-based analytics will start sidling into the spotlight. This will create new challenges, and boundless opportunities for those who rise to action.

New verticals will explore novel value propositions

More verticals are becoming savvy to the benefits of cloud computing, mobility, digitization and automation of resources. The digitization of health records in chorus with telehealth is driving the creation of data, and also catalyzing the need for analytics in health care. Additionally, consumer health-tracking applications – including wearable fitness trackers – are generating entire databases of information that can be used to assess general trends related to health and physical well-being, according to Forbes.

Likewise, financial institutions have new opportunities to use data in order to assess risks, identify financial trends and understand customer banking habits to reduce churn. According to Forbes, Big Data is also encouraging the concept of trading by algorithms. By aggregating financial information from various sources that may include general perceptions on social media to recent headlines, banks can yield actionable insight that can help determine trading practices.

Analytics will be faster, smarter

In theory, Big Data’s catchphrase should be “the more, the merrier.” But for many businesses, it reads more like, “the more, the messier.” Something got lost in translation, and it might be business intelligence.

So as the IoT and mobility trends drive data growth in the cloud and as more verticals try to do something with this data, business intelligence will be in the spotlight, and specifically machine learning tools that drive faster analytics. Hadoop will resume its clout as the open-source data aggregation tool of choice – and will see continued growth as new avenues for data discovery emerge – and Microsoft’s Cortana Analytics and other perceptually-focused tools will employ novel methods such as speech and facial recognition to analyze previously unintelligible information.

In 2016, Big Data will be bigger, but it’s business intelligence that will ultimately make it faster, smarter and more beneficial to the enterprise.