The Best Advice from Big Data 2014 Predictions

Loraine Lawson
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Three Big Problems Big Data Will Create in 2014

Just ask anybody—2014 is going to be an even bigger year for Big Data.

“In 2014, we will see Big Data funding only grow, and at least one significant IPO possibly from a player like Cloudera,” writes Concurrent CEO Gary Nakamura.

Inhi Suh, IBM vice president of Big Data, integration, and governance, told Information Week that she foresees more organizational spending on Big Data as companies invest in a wider range of analytics, such as reporting, dashboards and planning, predictive analytics, recommendations and new cognitive capabilities.

Big Data will be so big it will actually be “no big deal” in that no one will need to be convinced of its importance and they’ll be tired of talking about it, according to Chris Grossman of data governance firm Rand Secure Data, who submitted his predictions by email.

Meanwhile, “We’re all data scientists now,” writes Andrew Brust in a ZDNet round-up of vendor predictions for the coming year:

“A couple of companies on our panel are predicting that the high priesthood of data scientists will start to become less crucial as analytics tools become more accessible by business users.  Tableau goes so far as to predict ‘The end of data scientists,’ adding ‘Familiarity with data analysis becomes part of the skill set of ordinary business users, not experts.’”

Most of these predictions evolve out of technology trends we’re already seeing, of course. And I’m sure we’ll see some of them come to fruition this year.

But for my money, the best prediction is actually advice given by Capgemini’s Scott Schlesinger to Information Week. I’ve added italics for emphasis:

“There's no doubt that companies' pursuits of big data initiatives have the best intentions to improve operational decision making across the enterprise. That being said, companies shouldn't get stuck on the term 'big data.' The true initiative and what they ultimately need to be concerned with is how they're implementing better data management practices that account for the variety and complexity of the data being acquired for analysis.”

I think that makes sense. First, surveys show that companies are just now moving out of the kick-the-tires stage with Big Data, and many haven’t even started to see the real benefits yet. We also know organizations tend to drag their feet on crucial data issues such as data governance and data quality.

What do you get when you roll out Big Data without the basics of data management? You get a big mess, and I think organizations understand this.

That’s why I also agree with one of Grossman’s other predictions: Data governance will no longer be optional.

To that end, he foresees data governance getting its own budget line item. Once again, while I’m not sure about the prediction, I’m positive this is valuable advice for 2014.

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