The number of technologies that generate and transmit data will continue to grow as consumers embrace their new digital lifestyles. For one, wearable technology will start to enter the mainstream market and begin generating vast amounts of new consumer data from which companies will be able to draw new meaningful insights.
In 2014 we expect big data to become appreciated as much more than a tool for capturing and analysing customer insights at scale.
The technology will begin to create value across a variety of industries in new and surprising ways. Businesses that can harness big data’s potential will gain better awareness of both internal and external business factors and find ways to work with greater efficiency and intelligence.
While the following list is by no means exhaustive, we’ve identified some core industries where we anticipate data analytics to make a big difference next year:
Health and Life Sciences
Big data has the potential to drive meaningful progress in the medical field, particularly as health experts seek cures for life-threatening illnesses that affect more and more people each year. In the medical research arena, for example, the ability to consolidate health data from patients in hospitals all over the world and trend it in real-time against geographical factors, weather, local social customs, and family history becomes very powerful.
Armed with the new insights that big data analyses will give them, medical professionals can focus their efforts and accelerate the race to cure terminal disease.
Advanced scientific research is a game played in the minutiae of life, in the place where discoveries made on the tiniest scale can have enormous implications for the entire human population. Projects are often long and labour-intensive, as researchers conduct a seemingly endless number of iterative analyses on these microscopic events as they look for trends that point to new discoveries.
Big data analytics are perfectly suited to this type of work – extracting value from thousands, or even millions, of experimental results are greatly facilitated by IT solutions that can gather, store, and process these in a meaningful way.
Bank fraud can costs financial institutions millions every year. To protect themselves and their customers, banks have turned to big data-driven solutions, which are particularly effective at consolidating large volumes of unstructured customer data to drive better decision making.
Trending information on customer transactions against where, how, and when they regularly conduct their bank activity, for example, makes it much easier for banks to detect fraud and react more proactively to suspicious transactions.
A football coach must foster the continuous improvement of his team’s performance and develop winning strategies that cater to each player’s strengths. Keeping an eye on every player during a heated match is quite difficult however, which means that coaches gain a limited amount of insight to work with each game.
Enter big data analytics – using motion-capture technology to understand player movements throughout a game, coaches can then employ data analysis to visualise and evaluate performance metrics such as how many touches each player had, where on the pitch strikers shoot from most, and who was playing when the opposing team scored their goals, for example.
With this higher-level vision of team performance, coaches can take a more dynamic approach to their work and evolve their strategies to improve player results throughout the season.
Application Engineered Systems
In 2014, the amount of data businesses will have to manage will only increase. To cope with the data boom, businesses will become more reliant than ever on the speed and power of their storage solutions, while keeping IT costs in-check.
To unlock more value from the growing amount of data, businesses will have to move past generic storage appliances and adopt engineered systems that marry application-aware storage solutions with storage-aware applications. These engineered systems drive faster, more powerful IT by automating data management to an unprecedented level while helping businesses reduce operating costs.