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Changes to the Big Data Landscape and Data Applications in 2020

By: Kayla Matthews on January 27, 2020

Every new year is the biggest year yet for big data. In 2020, people and industries will continue taking advantage of big data trends that provide useful new applications and methodologies.

Here’s a look at some of the most important changes and opportunities propagating through the big data landscape in 2020.

1. Hybrid Clouds Become the Default

Early adopters and latecomers alike have come to appreciate how useful cloud computing can be in enterprise. It’s not without its challenges, though, which is why hybrid clouds — a mixture of on-premises platforms and cloud platforms — will probably become the new normal in 2020.

Switching over completely to a cloud system is labor- and time-intensive, as it requires months or weeks of migration and syncing before the transition is complete. Companies are increasingly recognizing the advantage of “mixed computing” — including public and private clouds and first- and third-party infrastructure.

According to IBM, hybrid big data solutions allow faster development of applications and may speed up digital transformations compared to an all-or-nothing approach.

2. More Business Types Turn to Data Mapping

The coming year will see an explosion in the number of businesses and industrial sectors turning to data mapping technologies, including geospatial information systems (GIS).

GIS combines location information with other types of data, such as customer or competitor insights, to help organizations find and visualize patterns and relationships, solve problems, see changes over time, better understand their market, plan their next moves, forecast future trends, and prioritize their business activities.

There are too many industrial applications for GIS systems to name, but here’s a sampling:

  • Help insurance companies find areas where customers are likeliest to file a claim.
  • Assist physicians and dentists in better understanding local demographics in areas being targeted for a new office expansion.
  • Show restauranteurs and business owners multiple layers of demographic data, spending habits, and socioeconomic trends to help target up-and-coming communities.
  • Plot the most efficient routes for freight companies and couriers, even in real-time, to account for changes in local traffic and other bottom-line-impacting events.

Expect GIS adoption to become a major big data trend in 2020 across every business sector.

3. AI Puts Untapped Enterprise Data to Work

True artificial intelligence is the epitome of everything big data has to offer. Whereas human beings have a very narrow window of observation and focus, AI can organize and analyze vastly more information at a time.

The first AI trend for 2020 is wider adoption across more industries. Even those that have been slow to recognize the advantages, like oil and gas, telecommunications, and even waste management, will find new opportunities to do so in 2020. New applications involving detailed models and simulations will help companies identify strategic opportunities, boost production at existing facilities, and surface enterprise-wide process data to better understand how to keep employees and assets safe.

Right now, it’s common for companies to use barely 20% of the data they already possess. AI will help them bring value out of the remaining 80%. As more organizations learn about the possibilities of AI, some experts believe 2020 will be the year we begin building “AI-first” applications simply as a matter of course and convenience.

Doing so may fundamentally change our workflows and the physical design of applications as they become more focused on CUI (conversational user interfaces) and less focused on GUI (graphical user interfaces).

4. Big-Data-as-a-Service Steps Up Amidst Talent Shortages

In 2020, more and more companies will learn how to successfully navigate what some call “the great data scientist shortage.” Each of the trends mentioned above, plus many more, mean thousands of data science job openings may go unfilled this year as companies scramble to secure a competitive advantage in the data age.

According to a LinkedIn report, the U.S. had a surplus of data science specialists in 2015. By 2018, that reversed to a shortage of more than 151,000 qualified data science job applicants

This big data trend will lead to several others, including a rise in the number of companies outsourcing their machine learning and artificial intelligence efforts, such as purchasing algorithms rather than developing them in-house.

We’ll see big-data-as-a-service continue its upward trajectory throughout 2020 for the same reasons. Between 2019 and 2025, according to Orbis Research, the global market for DaaS will grow at a CAGR of 15% to eventually reach $48.9 million.

Big Data Marches On in 2020

Everybody has their eyes on big data in 2020. Major companies are collecting AI startups like they’re Pokémon cards, which is all the writing on the wall we need: Big data — and the means to analyze and put it to work — is becoming the most important competitive advantage out there.

Even for companies that have resisted this type of change, it’s almost impossible now, and getting even harder, to ignore the opportunities big data represents.


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