In 2019, businesses are fully aware of the strategic value of big data and analytics. However, how will their roles evolve in the year to come is yet to be discovered.

Big data is a relatively new concept that gained awareness in 2005 when Gartner Analyst, Doug Laney, defined it as “a high-volume, -velocity and -variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making.”

IoT, smart homes, mobile applications, and social media are generating vast amounts of unstructured data that, when turned into insights, has the potential to impact businesses and industries at large. Cost and time reduction, new product development, optimised offerings and better decision making are the main business benefits of using big data.

Now that companies understand the role of big data, will this technology grow and mature or will it be replaced by something better that solves business problems in new and interesting ways?

1. CIOs will be in charge

In 2019, the Chief Information Officer will be the one designing the company’s data and information strategy. This role will evolve significantly in the course of the next years. The roles that understand data and have the skills to extract knowledge will be the ones holding the tech agenda. Successful CIOs will be advanced to more influence C-level of the organisation and made in charge of the next IT challenges.

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2. Machine learning

With the help of Machine learning, companies can protect stored data and dispose of the one that is no longer needed. According to Carlos M. Meléndez, chief operating officer at AI consulting firm Wovenware, data is not deleted forever since the algorithms can be used to re-create some of the data.”

Machine learning and analytics won’t change too much in the near future. There still is a great need for traditional analytics for tasks like time series analytics, ad-hoc analysis, business dashboards etc. Machine learning will still be used for predictive analytics and more complex cases. However, it still hasn’t achieved self-awareness and is instead focused on learning the rules of how to complete specific tasks.

3. Edge computing

The tremendous speed of data growth will determine further development of cloud and edge computing. According to Infoworks, “Edge computing stores data nearer to the end users and farther from the silo setup with the processing happening either in the device or in the data centre.” Another advantage of edge computing is that it speeds up data analysis, giving companies ample time to understand data and make decisions accordingly.

4. A great year for open sourcing

2019 will be another great year for open sourcing. More free software tools and data will become available in the cloud. This new phase of open sources will considerably help start-ups and smaller organisations with cost-cutting and customer development.

Big data will continue to be the catalyst of change in organisations, so it’s important to understand and adapt to these changes to achieve your business goals.