Will Big Data Grow Up in 2014?

Although cloud computing and mobility are certainly gaining momentum in the workplace, experts often classify the information movement as one of the most disruptive forces to hit the business world in many years. This assessment is based on the fact that companies of all sizes are finding new ways to capture structured data from emails and corporate databases as well as unstructured information from social networking and forums, and then combining the two into one overarching Big Data strategy.

In a recent Frost & Sullivan report, analysts highlighted how roughly 2.5 quintillion data bytes are created on a daily basis, opening up massive opportunities for organizations willing to adopt new philosophies and technologies needed to make the most of that information. At the same time, some experts are uncertain of the future of "Big Data," largely because many enterprises are still unsure how to classify, manage, store, and analyze new information sources.

Still, analysts at Frost & Sullivan are confident in the future of Big Data due to its massive potential.

"Businesses across many industries will increase their adoption and investment on Big Data this year and next because there's a real business value in it," said Teera Kanokkanjanarat, senior ICT analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

At the same time, Kanokkanjanarat realizes that there will be some growing pains, especially as the tools companies need to optimize Big Data projects mature.

Optimizing Big Data projects
The idea of capturing and analyzing various types of information has been on the business radar for some time, Kanokkanjanarat asserted. Now that enterprise decision-makers are being presented with innovative technologies, however, the dreams are slowly turning into realities and helping companies improve customer services, augment marketing, and enhance internal operations.

Although Big Data holds potential for organizations, executives must be sure they approach their endeavor in the right way. According to a Forbes report, there are several critical steps to master before organizations can reap the rewards of Big Data projects, including understanding that not all the information gathered will be useful. If companies want Big Data initiatives to be as efficient as possible, decision-makers must deploy comprehensive analytics that can help users recognize the difference between relevant and irrelevant information.

In addition to realizing which resources will be helpful, organizations also need to establish a time frame for when various data sets can be used, Forbes noted. Because employees now have the ability to capture information from multiple disparate sources, those same individuals need to be aware how long certain assets remain useful because waiting too long to analyze data and apply the findings into operations won't necessarily yield positive results.

Because speed is always an issue, organizations should prioritize the use of tools that function in real time. Forbes stated that data latency will only create unneeded bottlenecks and other issues that can disrupt operational performance over time. By using real-time and even predictive analytics, which enables individuals to understand past findings and anticipate future trends, businesses can improve their chances of maximizing useful Big Data output.

Frost & Sullivan forecast that the volume of information at the business world's fingertips will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of roughly 40 percent during the next several years. This trend should encourage companies to take the time to develop a well-rounded, in-depth strategy that will allow employees to understand the difference between which available resources will be helpful and how teams can capitalize on the opportunities presented by those assets.

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