big dataAs the year 2013 is almost over, it is good to have a look back at the trends that I discussed for 2013 and look forward to the Big Data trends of 2014. It can be said that 2013 was really the year that Big Data seriously took off and went from being adopted by an exclusive group of companies to mainstream awareness. This could be seen from the massive investments made in Big Data startups from around the world, to the growing list of Big Data best practices that appeared. But what happened to the trends that I foresaw in 2013 and what will be the most important Big Data trends for 2014?

Looking back at the 2013 Big Data trends

Last year I noted that on on-the-go Big Data, meaning being able to view Big Data visualizations on mobile devices, will become important and in 2013 we saw the rise of a bunch of new mobile devices including smart watches and Google Glass. There are some Big Data startups, such as Roambi, who have very clear understanding of on-the-go Big Data and are capable of bringing real-time interactive visualizations to mobile devices. On-the-go Big Data really took off in 2013 and is here to stay.

The second trend was that Big Data does not require big bucks because of the plethora of Big Data open source tools that are available in the market as well as the decreasing costs of storage. The price of storage does indeed continue to decrease in costs, but the amount of data also grows exponentially. Will we be able to keep up with this or will the amount of data outgrow the available storage? The amount of open source tools is growing rapidly, but there is also a rise in licensed Big Data solutions, because open source tools do require experience Big Data personnel and many organisations do not yet have these staff available. So, to start with Big Data it does not have to cost the world, but to develop and implement a complete Big Data solution can be expensive, although the results can also be significant.

The third trend was big real-time data and 2013 did indeed show an important growth in real-time analytics. More and more tools become available that create a layer on top of Hadoop to be able to deal with real-time data and Hadoop 2.0′s YARN framework enables real-time data analysis. In the coming years this will become more important as many industries see the advantages of real-time analytics.

Big consumer data, or the quantified-self movement, was the fourth trend and this really took off in 2013. Wearable technologies that can measure every day life have started to appear massively and more and more consumers are measuring at least something of their behaviour, be it their sleeping patterns or the running results. Recent research from Pew Research Centre revealed that 69% of U.S. adults keep track of at least one health indicator such as weight, diet, exercise routine or symptom.

The final trend was Big Data related to privacy. Last year I wrote that “it feels like we have fallen in love with Big Data and that we are blind for the pitfalls in Big Data. We do not want to see the backside of Big Data and the effect it will have on our privacy.” Of course, in 2013 we saw the PRISM leak by Edward Snowden, which showed that privacy in the Big Data world is indeed an endangered species and there is probably a lot more to be revealed in the coming months. Privacy is indeed affected by Big Data and as consumers, and companies, we will have to get used to this new reality. Read more