More data is pumping in for good reasons, and all types of business organizations now have unlimited data sources to be tapped. Data is the most valuable commodity in the modern world undergoing a digital revolution.
However, unlike the old-time concept of collection and classification of data, now the requirement is to turn this huge collection of data into actionable business insights. This remains the biggest challenge of all times for the DBAs and business administrators who deal with data. The organizations which find better solutions in terms of formidable data challenges may enjoy success over others in the highly competitive market.
Keeping these primary considerations in mind, let’s explore the top trends in big data which the organizations could look forward to in 2019.
#1 Management of data is still the hardest part
It has been so forever, and in times of big data, it has become more obvious. Finding the most interesting patterns and insights hidden in a huge volume of data is the challenging part. Machine learning is now succeeding up to an extent in spotting those unique patterns accurately and then derives some actionable insights by acting upon them.
However, putting this into production is a lot harder than how one defines it. For the beginners, amassing the data from different sources is a fairly difficult task which requires an excellent database and ETL skill. Cleansing data and labeling it to train for machine learning will also take a lot of effort and time, particularly when deep learning is used. Ultimately, putting such a system into production at a scale in a reliable manner also requires a unique set of skills.
For all these obvious reasons, data management remains the biggest challenge for data engineers, which will continue to be one among the sought-after skill in the big data times.
#2 Data Silos are continuously proliferating
This is not, however, a much difficult prediction considering the evolvement of data structures over time. During the time of Hadoop boom a few years ago, we embraced the idea of consolidating all data for both transactional workloads and analytics on to a single platform. In this way, data gets stored in silos.
This idea was; however, never panned out widely for many reasons. The biggest challenge was that various data types as relational DBs, graph, DBs, time-series database, HDFS, etc. might have various storage requirements. The developers will not be able to maximize their potential if they have to cram all the data into a one-size-fits-all type of Data Lake.
In many cases, amassing a huge volume of data into a single place make sense. The cloud data stores, for example, are offering organizations a flexible and cost-effective unlimited storage, whereas Hadoop remains cost-effective storage of unstructured data with analytical capabilities. But for many other organizations, these remain as additional silos which have to be managed. They are important and big silos, but not the only ones. If a solid centralize force is not in place, then the silos will continuously proliferate.
#3 Real-time streaming of analytics
The mantra of data era is that the quicker any business decision maker’s act on a piece of data, the better their organizational success would be. It is the major driving force behind the real-time streaming of analytics. The top challenge in this is the fact that it’s difficult to pull off the most desired piece of data at real-time and also the changing analytic teams based on the existing market conditions. You can visit RemoteDBA.com to get a better insight into this.
Some new technologies like NewSQL database and in-memory data grid enable streaming analytics up to an extent and also converging around the common capabilities. All these are expected to contribute effectively towards ultra-fast live of processing of the incoming data by using machine learning and deep learning models. It will also contribute further to automated business decision making too. Combined with the current SQL capabilities at the open source frameworks like Spark, Kafka, and Flink, real-time analytics had a better scope in 2019.
#4 Data governance
People started calling data the new "oil" and the next "currency." Whatever analogy people use, data surely has such value, and those who handle it carelessly will surely end up in trouble. EU (The European Union) had spelled out specific financial consequences of poor data governance in their recent updates. Even though there is no such law in the USA as of now, the American companies already abide by some of the data mandates put forth by various states and consortiums.
Data breaches are now on top of the talks and according to a survey conducted by The Harris Poll, about 60 million US citizens were adversely affected by the identity theft last year. This is a 300% increase compared to the previous year of 2017, at which time only about 15 million were affected. More and more organizations now realize the fact that the Wild West days of big data are slowly sinking. Even though the US Government hasn't yet started penalizing your for being reckless in data administration, it will surely show up anytime sooner.
#5 Skills shift in data administration
When it comes to any technological change, it is the human resources which remain as the biggest cost. This is the same in the case of big data projects too. Even though automation and technological innovations help to reduce human work volume, ultimately skilled people are those who build the structures and run it to make things work. So, the primary goal is to find the right person with the right skills to turn data into actionable insight irrespective of the technologies and approaches used for it.
However, in line with the technological advancements, the skill mix of database administrators also changes. In 2019, we can expect a huge demand for those who put in a neural network in production. In terms of the technical skills in demand for data scientists and machine learning experts, Python continues to have a higher demand in terms programming platforms along with R, Mat lab, SAS, Java, Scala, and C, etc.
As new data governance strategies and programs changing into top gears, we can see an increased demand for data stewards in 2019. Data engineers and administrators who can work with the core DBA tools like Spark and Airflow etc. will find an increasing number of opportunities for them. You can also see demand for the machine learning experts accelerating in the next couple of years.
As above, we can expect that in 2019, progress in terms of big data management will emerge from a multitude of fronts. Even though there are substantial hurdles in terms of technology, legalities, and ethics raised by big data and machine learning, the potential benefits of these technologies will far outweigh the risks and drawbacks.