Written by Zahra Saeed
Posted on 15/12/2014

Big data predictions for 2015 revealed

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Last Thursday saw two leading market analytics firms share their predictions for the booming big data and analytics industry through separate webcasts. The International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed the results of its FutureScape survey, while the International Institute for Analytics (IIA), which works exclusively with businesses to create competitive analytics programmes, shared insight from a panel of industry experts.


Both organisations focussed on a combination of long-term industry trends as well as new developments over the coming year. According to the IIA, these predictions are an essential tool for businesses looking to structure their time and resources in order to take advantage of the latest big data technologies

“From our work with the analytics community at large, we know that these predictions are among the hot topics on the minds of business leaders today,” said Jack Phillips, co-founder and CEO of IIA.

Mainstream upsurge in big data investment

With the IDC predicting that the big data and analytics market will be worth 125 billion USD (£79 billion) in 2015, it’s no surprise that businesses – including mainstream companies – are also predicted to double their investment in generating new and unique data. Currently, 70% of large organisations buy external data; by 2019, this is likely to increase to 100%. At the same time, more companies will start to monetise data by selling it or providing value-added content. Spending on cloud-based big data and analytics solutions will grow three times faster over the next five years than that invested in on-site applications. This will lead to a crucial need for hybrid solutions that can accommodate both on and off-site requirements. There will also be significant investment in rich media analytics (images, video and audio) which is predicted to treble in 2015, with all large companies looking to analyse rich media by 2019. 

Automated decision-making and cognitive computing

Automated decision-making, that is, using computers to make decisions based on data (such as whether someone is eligible for a bank loan) will “come of age” in 2015 according to the IIA. Gil Press, a technology blogger at, believes this will mean that “the very way that firms operate and organise themselves will be questioned this year as common workflows become rationalised through analytics”. The IDC also predicts that by 2018, 50% of consumers will be interacting on a regular basis with services based on cognitive computing. Current proponents of this technology include Apple Siri and Google Now. 

Big data storytelling

The shortage of skilled big data analysts is set to continue, with the IDC predicting 181,000 deep analytics roles in the U.S. alone in 2018 and five times that many jobs for experts with related skills in data management and interpretation. According to the IIA, the biggest demand will be for ‘storytelling’ – the ability to communicate a data ‘story’ based on big data findings in a compelling and easy-to-understand manner. With communication not stereotypically a strength of analysts, applicants who are able to demonstrate this attribute will be highly sought-after.


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