Major Shifts in Big Data for 2016

Major Shifts in Big Data for 2016 Image Credit: PHEMI

Last year at PHEMI, we saw many exciting developments for big data management and analytics. We expect no different for 2016, with some existing shifts continuing and some new trends beginning to emerge. Clearly, the coming year is showing a lot of promise for leveraging new big data technologies and solutions across a number of different industries.

One key big data shift that’s expected in 2016 is a move towards the “Democratization of Data.” In the past, it has typically fallen to business intelligence and analytics groups to create datasets, generate reports, and generally act as a provider to data consumers. That mode of operation is now evolving, and new technologies built around data privacy, governance, and security are creating new and more beneficial ways that data can be managed and shared. We predict there will be an ongoing movement away from current custom-tailored data requests, with specialized departments controlling and generating information as spreadsheets, graphs or dashboards. Instead, the “Democratization of Data” will unlock data gates so that data-driven businesses can expand access, allowing all parties to use their data to maximum benefit. 

2016 Trends and Outlook Polls

Paul Terry,
President and CEO,

There is also an expectation that companies will begin to leverage data in increasingly innovative and productive ways, effectively moving from a dashboard model of viewing data to a discovery platform—thereby shifting from a retrospective strategy to an inherently more predictive one. And, as organizations work to cut through the “noise” in their data, they will turn their focus more on the “signal,” in order to identify actionable data. This is critical for companies that are now managing enormous amounts of data. This year, expect data-driven companies to bring a more tightly focused approach to their data in order to cut through noise and reap greater business benefits. 

Until recently, companies working on big data solutions have been left largely to their own devices and have faced costly, time-consuming hurdles to effectively operationalize their data. In 2016, expect to see companies moving away from a DIY approach, as they begin to explore newer technologies and more streamlined turnkey solutions. Unlike today’s approach to big data—which is still very much a customized solution, with companies tasked to build everything from scratch—the coming year will see a growing demand for out-of-the-box solutions.

Another thing we expect to see for big data in 2016 is a marked market expansion, with significant commercial adoption of big data solutions. With Gartner claiming that only 3 to 8% of the potential big data market has been actualized, there is room for considerable ongoing growth. We think the stage is set for the true launch of a commercially viable big data warehouse in 2016. 

The big data evolution underway will see new and exciting technologies and applications being implemented in different vertical markets. 

About The Author:
As the President and CEO, Paul provides the vision and technical leadership at PHEMI. He serves on the Board of Directors for Providence Health Care, advising on its subcommittees for innovation, quality, EMR, and next-generation data strategies in healthcare. Paul also serves on the Board of Directors for Life Sciences BC and Molecular You, and is an advisor to the BC provincial government on next-generation data strategies. He is an adjunct professor in big data at Simon Fraser University and is a partner with Magellan Angel Partners. Paul lectures in technology, strategy, and product management for the MBA program at SFU, and is a sought-after speaker on data innovation and strategy. He is a member of the Big Data Sub-Committee Working Group, the BC Institute for Health Innovation and serves on Genome BC’s Health Strategy Task Force. Paul is also an Ambassador for Privacy by Design.


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