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Datanami Dishes on 'Big Data' Predictions for 2014

This space was going to feature a "Top 10 Big Data Predictions for 2014" story. But considering the large number of such stories currently in circulation, a different tact was in order. Instead, according to an article published on Datanami, you'll find a selection of pertinent predictions from players in the "big data" software industry, followed by Datanami's opinion as to whether it will be spot on or whether the soothsaying will miss the mark.

Image courtesy of photoraidz /

Prediction No. 1: The End of Data Scientists

Tableau Software is predicting that 2014 will mark the beginning of the end of the data scientist (the "sexiest job of the year" for 2013), and the movement of data science away from IT specialists. Even the common data analyst appears on Tableau's big data hit list; the company insists that data science moves away from people who have "analyst" in their title, and begins to be used by "the everyman."

Datanami's Take: Mostly True

There simply aren't enough data scientists to go around. It may seem odd to find joy in forecasting the end of data scientists, who are the best qualified people to make data analytics a reality at any given organization. But for the industry to take the next step and to evolve toward something more mainstream and less esoteric, the level of difficulty absolutely has to be driven out of the technology. Saying "end the data scientists" is just another way of saying "end the complexity."

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2014 Prediction No. 2:   The Burst of the BYOD Bubble

The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement has gone as far as it can, predicts Adaptiva, a provider of enterprise systems software. While mobile devices are great for enabling people to read data on the go, the thinking goes, they're lousy at allowing people to write data. Also, smartphones and tablets pose horrible security risks, which further marginalizes their use--at least among enterprises that respect data and their customers' privacy. "Securing these devices is nearly impossible because even in a tightly controlled environment, the devices themselves cannot be locked down," Adaptiva says. "Users can install any application, visit any website, and transfer any data outside the company's network."

Datanami's Take:  No Freaking Way

Like the Borg, resistance of the BYOD movement is futile. BYOD may not survive in its current incarnation, but it will adapt to the changing enterprise realities. Mobile devices already play an instrumental part in people's lives today, and they will continue to evolve to enable better and more automated consumption and generation of data at the point of person. If a mobile Charlton Heston was alive in the corporate world today, he'd put it this way: "You can have my iPhone when you pry it from my cold, dead hands."


Prediction No. 3. Analytics Shift to Embedded BI

Tableau says we'll start to see embedded data analytics and "business intelligence" (anybody remember that term?) begin to emerge in 2014. "Analytics start to live inside of transactional systems," the company says, "and scenarios like customer relationship management will lead the way with analytics providing support for the many small decisions salespeople make in a day."

Datanami's Take: Absolutely Spot On

Just as powerful software will begin to abstract away some of the complexity of analysts, thereby lessening the need for data scientists, so, too, will much of the analytics begin to move away from "analytic products" per se and begin living in the day-to-day operational systems, where it can have the biggest impact. At a very general level, you can expect to see better harmony between Hadoop systems, where discoveries are made, and NoSQL-based systems, where the discoveries are monetized and put into action.

 Read more on Datanami

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