'Tis the season when industry soothsayers don their prognostication caps to make fearless forecasts for the coming year. What does the crystal ball say about big data?
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We culled an assortment of 2015 predictions from big data executives and analysts. The overarching theme: Big data gets real next year, as does the Internet of Things. What do you think? Will these prophecies come true, or are better suited for the Psychic Friends Network?
Prediction #1: Big data proves it's more than just big hype. "In 2014 the booming ecosystem around Hadoop was celebrated with a proliferation of applications, tools, and components. In 2015, the market will concentrate on the differences across platforms and the architecture required to integrate Hadoop into the data center and deliver business results." -- MapR CEO and cofounder John Schroeder.
Prediction #2: On a similar note, 2015 will be Hadoop's "show me the money" year. "Hadoop has been rapidly adopted as 'the way' to execute any go-forward data strategy. However, early adopters must now show return on investment, whether it's migrating workloads from legacy systems or new data applications. Luckily, products and tools are evolving to keep pace with the trajectory of Hadoop." -- Gary Nakamura, CEO of Concurrent.
Prediction #3: Location services move indoors. "Indoor location technology and services will rapidly gain traction. Where previously WiFi was the primary enabler to position a mobile device indoors, its inability to calculate elevation, coupled with errors introduced through signal noise, has meant that using WiFi alone indoors was frequently not accurate enough. However, with BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) beacons now increasing in number, these can combine with WiFi access points while using the device-embedded MEMS (Micro-electro-mechanical-systems) sensors to provide accurate location indoors." -- Juniper Research's "Top 10 Tech Trends for 2015" whitepaper.
Prediction #4: Connected cars might grab the headlines, but other IoT devices will prove a lot more useful. "Autonomous vehicles such as drones and self-driving cars will dominate public perception of the IoT. Less-glamorous connected objects will make the greatest impact on people's lives -- many without them even knowing it." -- Brian Gilmore, an Internet of Things and industrial data expert at Splunk
Prediction #5: You, too, can be a data scientist, no PhD required. "As data becomes more accessible and analytic tools become easier to use and readily available, data science won't be limited to those in the technology sector. In 2015, anyone with the right tools can draw powerful insights from data.
"We're not blasting CS degrees but in 2015, data scientists' skillsets will be vastly different, especially as the ability to code will be less of a job requirement. Data scientists should take a page out of anthropology and understand that qualitative information can also provide answers to questions you didn't know you had." -- Lukas Biewald, CEO and cofounder of CrowdFlower, a data-mining and crowdsourcing service.
Prediction #6: The Internet of Things will have a big impact on customer service, with consumers expecting more personalized interaction with vendors. "The Internet of Things changes the entire customer service dynamic; rather than a limited number of customer communication channels, customer experience management (CEM) systems will be able to process live streams of data from fitness wearables, motor vehicles, home appliances, and medical instruments, to name only a few categories of connected devices on the horizon. When collected, correlated, and applied, the data from these devices will coalesce into an unprecedented view of the customer's needs, resulting in far greater competitive advantage for those who are aware of the possibilities." -- Keith McFarlane, CTO and senior vice president of engineering at LiveOps, a cloud-based customer service provider.
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Jeff Bertolucci is a technology journalist in Los Angeles who writes mostly for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, The Saturday Evening Post, and InformationWeek. View Full Bio
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