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.


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.