On: 21st April 2016

Big data is a big topic (excuse the pun) and its slightly anamorphous state means it can be a hard thing to pin down. But as we approach 2016, we thought it would be an idea to look at some of the key ways in which big data will change industries and lives in 2016…and how big data itself is changing.


Neural networks in medical research

Being able to predict behaviour from complex data is one of science’s key challenges for 2016. The artificial neural network model (derived from brain neural pathways) has been around for some time now and has been used successfully implemented in many industries.  Where it will have a big impact over the next year will be in the robotics industry and in the prediction of cancer behaviour. Neural networks have been especially pioneering in their ability to diagnose cancers, and one day researches hope the networks may even be able to predict patient outcomes, regardless of where they are being treated. Big Dave is actually saving lives.


Forecasting every click  

This is an interesting one that could have huge financial implications for a large number of industries. Especially Facebook and Twitter have been extensively data-mined, but other than collecting stats, it can be hard to use data to actually forecast and predict social network behaviour. What we are expecting to see is a more individualised approach to analysing this type of data, integrated with user behaviour that is being collected from us every time we click, browse and download… (Time to delete those browsing histories??)


The rising Cloud

Cloud technology continues to rise, and investments are coming into the tune of billions a year. A key software investment firm Centaur Partners predicted that the revenue from the so-called SaaS model (software as service model) will grow from 13.5 billion in 2011 to 32.8 billion by the end of 2016. The SaaS model is an on-demand software service that is highly flexible and streamlines maintenance and support for both users and providers. No wonder people are turning to this virtual cloud nine to solve their computing and data issues.


Integrated data strategy

Increasingly healthcare and other service industries will need to organise themselves around a coherent data strategy. This means learning from the successes and failures of other data organisations and standardising legislation over data issues. Data is not just about security: it’s time to think beyond to forecasting, models and behaviours.


Rise of R

The democratisation of data programming languages has begun which means Big Dave will soon be in your living room too. The open-source programming language R is taking the data and tech world by storm. Its ability to renew itself and update its systems through user-interaction is one of R’s main advantages. Especially the new, user-friendly RStudio is making data mining and analysis available to a wider group of people, and using certain plugins R can even mimic other more established languages to ease the user in.


Big Data jobs

Because of the complexity of working with data, the job prospects for Big Data professionals are going to be very good in 2016. Job titles like Software Engineer, Big Data Platform Engineer, Information Systems Developer, Platform Software Engineer, Data Quality Director and others are going to be increasingly common and the pay-scales will be healthy to say the least…


Big Dave phones home…

The reams of data collected from outer Space is a fruitful arena for Big Data to develop new systems, software and programmes. The infinite nature of spatial data means that open access initiatives are needed, making this new exciting domain open to a wide range of enthusiasts and people. Big Data from Space is actually bringing people closer together down here on Earth, so cheers for that Dave.

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