Big Data Trends to Watch in 2017

Data is playing an increasingly prominent role in all areas of life, with many experts now referring to it as having replaced oil as the world’s most valuable commodity. Certainly, over the last few years we have seen stark reminders of both how prevalent, important, and at times vulnerable data can be. This has been demonstrated in a number of hacks of prominent companies resulting in widespread breaches of private data.

In a world where the majority of people are willing to hand over a large amount of personal information and place an unprecedented amount of trust in tech companies to store and protect that data, it is more important than ever that data as a subject is made more accessible to the average person and that enthusiasts and professionals take seriously the interests of those who might not fully understand the consequences of how they treat their own data. The following is a brief primer on some of the emerging trends in big data that are set to play an important role in the industry’s landscape over the coming year.

Analytics

Analytics is, as the name says, the science of analyzing and interpreting data. Analytics is what allows companies like Google to take various snippets of information about you from your web browsing habits, search history, etc., and use this information to build a picture of who you are and what products, services, and websites are likely to interest you.

Other everyday examples of analytics include the recommendations given to you by companies like Netflix and Amazon, based on what you’ve purchased or viewed previously. The value of analytics is enormous and there is a growing debate about the role analytics play in political campaigning.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most important and potentially world-changing fields of data science. The role of artificial intelligence in our day to day lives is ever increasing. If you’re a gamer, then you encounter artificial intelligence every time you load a game up. In fact, video games have played an important role in furthering our understanding of AI.

As impressive as the behavior of simulated characters in modern video games might be, it is not quite the same as the kind of artificial intelligence pursued by data scientists. The kind of AI pursued by computer and data scientists seeks to create machines that aren’t just doing a good impression of thinking; that is to say, responding to pre-defined inputs with pre-defined responses, but moving towards machines that can truly think and interpret any input and respond appropriately.

Data Management and Cloud Storage

Cloud storage allows users to store their files on remote servers and access them from any computer with an internet connection. This kind of portable storage is rapidly taking over the role previously served by external USB hard drives. With an increasing amount of information stored online, data security is more important than ever. This is one of the best fields to start a career in as the cloud plays an increasingly prominent role in our lives. There are a variety of online MLIS degree programs that will teach you how to manage information. A master of information degree is an increasingly attractive addition to any resume.

With the role of big data in our lives becoming more prominent, and with greater and greater stakes for the theft of personal information, it is important that the trends in big data become more accessible and understandable to all.

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