Big data finally mainstream in 2016?

My Big Data

If you think ‘big data’ is already exploding, prepare to ‘hold on to your hat’ in 2016!

The team at gathered an interesting collection of predictions for 2016 from a bunch of data experts – we’ve all got a big year ahead of us.

The Microsoft Excel of Big Data

What stood out to me the most from the predictions was an expected explosion in ‘self-service’ data analysis.

Currently ‘big data’ is #toohard for most people – it looks like something you need to invest a lot of time and money in. But the predictions for 2016 are that companies will move past the experimental phase (suitable mainly for early adopters) and focus on easy-to-use analysis tools that help people with specific issues.

The introduction of user-friendly spreadsheet software in the 1970/80s was ground-breaking as it meant anyone could do evidence gathering and analysis more intelligently and a lot faster. An introduction of user-friendly self-service big data tools in 2016 will have the same ground-breaking effect, but at a whole new level.


Keeping a journal improves your InsightNG journey [new feature]

Writing in journal

We usually think of insights as a huge blinding flash of light – the famous ‘Eureka!’ moment. While its true that they do happen, it’s more common to have a series of smaller ‘Aha!’ insight moments, and then over time you gain clarity and understanding.

Journal button

We’re pretty excited about the new ‘Journal’ feature that we have just released. You can now record the Aha! moments you have along your insight journey – reviewing them helps keeps you motivated and can often trigger new thoughts.

Coffee canvas journal entry screenshot


Big data has Big flaws

Big data fractal

As more and more science-fiction becomes reality (talking phones, self-driving cars…) the more and more we expect machines to understand and think for us. But that ‘singularity’ is still at least 30 years away.

In the meantime, Matti Heikkonen points out that ‘big data’ analysis is very real already and a powerful tool for competitive advantage and decision-making… but the final decisions are still best left to humans.

Human insights

While data can give clues to what is happening, it takes humans to discover why it is happening.


You are learning wrong [quiz]

Woman with thoughts

It is estimated that 2/3 of us think more in words & logic and 1/3 think more in images & concepts.

It’s useful to know which of these camps you are in so that you can help yourself to succeed when studying or trying to learn something new. Knowing your type becomes even more important when someone of the other type is trying to teach you!


Hustling fate to win the ‘right place, right time’ game

Right place right time cityscape

Wouldn’t it be nice to find success in your career by happening to be ‘in the right place at the right time’?

According to network scientist Ron Burt, your best chance is to hang around the places that are most likely to become ‘right’, and those elusive places are the ‘structural holes’ in networks of people.

There are always certain groups within a network that tend not to mix due to their different cultures. Yet it is that very mixing of different viewpoints that more often sparks off innovative ideas. So this creates an opportunity for you to bridge these gaps in networks to create a new possibility of innovation.

Open your network

I like how journalist Michael Simmons recently took a fresh look at Steve Jobs’ success at Apple. He found it was less about his personality quirks and more about how he joined-the-dots in the right places (between diverse communities and viewpoints).

What’s more, you can replicate this yourself.