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.


Amazing Machine Intelligence, but what about the Humans?

Eye viewing digital information

If you are interested in machine intelligence, you are indeed living in exciting times. The first wave’s recent success stories are widespread knowledge now, such as IBM’s Watson, Google’s self-driving car, and Apple’s Siri.  The next wave looks likely to be more focused applications solving specific issues.

Business interest in machine intelligence continues to pick up as the practical applications become more evident (and achievable).  Many technologies are becoming mainstream, such as ‘Big Data’ tools and Google’s TensorFlow open source machine learning platform.  Some commentators on TensorFlow feel this shows that we are “at the end of the beginning“.

So far, many of the innovations have been experimental, but we are now starting to see the companies behind them mature in how they bring them to market.