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Big data and business intelligence trends 2017: machine learning, data lakes and Hadoop vs Spark

Scott Carey | Jan. 3, 2017
Looking ahead to the big trends set to shape the way organisations manage their data in 2017.

Usable data lakes

The past few years has seen a drive towards having a single data source in the enterprise instead of multiple silos, making it easier to share insights across the organisation. Enterprises implementing a data lake - a large, unstructured data set - isn't new for 2017, but this could be the year that they become properly governed and operational.

Ramon Chen, CMO of data management specialists Reltio, said: "Many companies who took the data lake plunge in the early days have spent a significant amount of money not only buying into the promise of low cost storage and process, but a plethora of services in order to aggregate and make available significant pools of big data to be correlated and uncovered for better insights.

"With existing big data projects recognising the need for a reliable data foundation, and new projects being combined into a holistic data management strategy, data lakes may finally fulfill their promise in 2017."

Baer from Ovum sees more organisations replacing Excel spreadsheet processes once data lakes are being used day-to-day. He said: "The common points of pain for data lake adopters are related to the inventorying and securing of data. Data preparation is a logical first step for organisations that are seeking to eliminate reliance on standalone Excel spreadsheets. As this capability has become widely available in offerings, ranging from data integration providers to functionality that is part of analytic and data science tools, we expect significant uptake in 2017."

The enterprise still needs data scientists

The need for data scientists in the enterprise may be softening as more and more smart graduates are entering the job market, but demand isn't going anywhere in 2017.

According to Hired's 2016 Mind The Gap report, data scientist salary offers rose by 29 percent in the past 18 months. The report also showed a 234 percent increase in interview requests for data engineers over the same period.

More self service BI

Aaron Auld, CEO at in-memory analytics specialist EXASOL, believes that self-service BI, where business users have direct access to analytics and insight, will continue to be a trend in the enterprise in 2017.

He said: "Self-service tools are gaining ground in the enterprise and startups alike. As data analytics integrates itself further into the core of the business, there will be a shift towards the business diving into data analytics with databases, visualisation tools such as Tableau and data-prep tools such as Alteryx."

Cloud-based analytics

Data visualisation specialist Tableau expects that more core data stores and analytics workflows will shift to the cloud in 2017: "With businesses moving their data to the cloud, the realisation that analytics should also live in the cloud will become mainstream.


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