Big Data has a big marketing problem: it’s been sold as a universal game-changer, but is perceived by some in the general public as overblown hype or a toy for the exclusive benefit of those few companies that can already afford it.
The situation hasn’t been helped by the recent revelations of widespread NSA communications monitoring, which have added to the not-unreasonable fears that always existed around mass-scale data collection.
Industry insiders see the immense progress being made on the technology front and understand the transformative power those shifts hold for society. But society, on the whole, may harbor some doubts.
It’s refreshing, then, to see that this year’s Strata + Hadoop World conference is taking these concerns seriously and making a concerted effort to address them.
Industry ethics, data security, and privacy issues are among the main focuses of this year’s conference. Perhaps more importantly, the event, already a dependable weathervane for big data development, embodies the internal recognition that the industry, for the sake of its own growth as much as society’s, needs to make meaningful results accessible to the broader market.
From the official guest speakers list, the conference reflects the diverse present-day landscape of big data innovation and makes looking forward to a more inclusive future one of its main objectives. Corporate executives will appear alongside startup CTOs now producing the insights that make much of big enterprise data solutions possible. Both will offer their perspectives in a setting shared by journalists, historians, and university experts invited to contextualize the industry’s achievements and frame its challenges moving forward.
One of the main consensuses likely to emerge from the integrated lineup of workshops, panel discussions, presentations, and demonstrations is that the industry’s upside lies in looking inward. Even as fundamental tools like Hadoop, Cassandra, Storm, Spark/Shark, and DrillPublic, extend the broader possibilities of big data further and further, smaller, more specialized services have emerged to deliver usable insights for businesses, governments, and organizations in general. Looking ahead to the next few years, it’s that new bottom-up dynamic that holds some of the industry’s strongest promise.
As a result, a recent IDC report predicts big data, as an industry, will ride 27% compounded annual growth to reach $32.4 billion globally by 2017. According to O’Reilly statistics, data science job posts have already jumped 89% year-over-year, with data engineering openings rising by 38%. Gartner placed “advanced, pervasive, invisible analytics” at #4 on its list of top strategic IT trends for 2015, a prediction informed by the increasing ubiquity of mobile computing devices and standardization of built-in analytics within the mobile app industry. In addition, Gartner noted that the era of the smart machine is upon us, and predicted that it will be the most disruptive in the history of IT.
Strata + Hadoop world is the place to understand this process and its far-reaching implications. Big tech brands were to be expected, but even at a first glance, the sheer range of industries in attendance speaks volumes. Iconic industry names from banking, manufacturing, energy , utilities, telecom have all registered for the conference, eager to make connections with the smaller software services also on display and learn what the newly stratified face of big data could mean in their respective fields.
Big data is finally beginning to incorporate the innovation that carries huge impact for the world and that carries huge impact for you and for me. So, let’s gear up to hear what the Hadoop fraternity has to say about it and how the world responds to it.
About the author:
Sundeep Sanghavi is the CEO and Co-Founder of DataRPM which is an award-winning, industry pioneer in smart machine analytics for big data.