Five Big Data and Data Science Trends for Organisations to Watch Out for in 2018

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As per an IDC Digital Universe Study, by the year 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every being on the planet. Uncovering insights from this humongous amount of information will require the seamless adoption of big data technologies, stronger data security, and integration of AI, machine learning as well as cognitive technologies applications with business operations. This calls for investments in right infrastructure as well as skilled talent that enable the precise use of big data and analytics platforms.

It is worth noting that India is among the top 10 big data analytics markets and the big data analytics sector is expected to witness an eight-fold growth by 2025 – from the current $2 billion to $16 billion. So what does the future hold for this industry? Here are top five big data and data science trends to watch out for in 2018:

Prescriptive analytics is poised to drive proactive decision-making:

For companies looking to transform HR processes, perceptive analytics helps access and analyze huge amounts of data for making smarter workforce decisions. For instance, Google uses analytics for improving hiring decisions and Amway uses assessment tools such as a predictive index for making informed hiring decisions. Training in HR analytics can help your functional experts take advantage of this trend to efficiently perform various activities such as analyzing attrition, employee performance and predicting appraisal.

Data scientists will be in high demand:

With the data science market growing at a tremendous pace, data specialists are in high demand. According to IBM, by 2020 demand for data scientists will grow by 28%. The number of analytics jobs in India doubled between April 2016 and 2017. This means finding data scientists will be an arduous task. About 50,000 jobs remain open due to lack of skilled professionals in the field. HR teams that train their mathematicians and analysts in data science courses will be better placed to keep pace with the competition.

Cognitive technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) are reshaping business processes:

According to Deloitte University Press, it is now possible to automate the tasks that require human perception skills. Cognitive systems such as IBM Watson, Stanford’s Deep-dive and Google’s Deep-mind enable enterprises to make sense of unstructured data through natural language processing (NLP). Bangalore-based Talview leverages IBM Watson to expedite the process of hiring for its clients. To take advantage of such cognitive technologies, HR and L&D leaders need to reskill their workforce and invest in adaptive learning strategy for practical application of cognitive technologies.

Machine learning is fast becoming the pillar of big data platforms and analytics:

Machine learning (ML) is finding wide ranging applications across functions and industries. Pinterest uses machine learning (ML) to enhance content discovery, whereas Belong – an Indian recruitment startup – uses AI for scanning relevant candidates. Lesson to learn: integrating ML with data analytics enables companies to quickly access more accurate insights for real-time decision making. Providing access to learning initiatives that help in upskilling your employees in big data and data science is a great way to gain more value from analytics in real-time scenarios.

Enterprises are increasingly adopting a cloud-first strategy and cloud-based platforms for big data analytics:

By 2020, at least a third of all data will pass through the cloud. Business leaders who can efficiently analyze multiple sources of data can tap into various opportunities to boost outcomes across functions. For instance, Xerox leveraged a cloud-first strategy to efficiently analyze data and reduce attrition rate by 20% at its call center. Companies such as KPMG and IBM are truly adopting the “cloud-first” strategy.

As per the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and KPMG report, India, as a nation of more than a billion, understands the importance and challenge of connecting the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’. Cloud can drive this inclusive growth agenda by providing a platform to scale the reach of education, healthcare, financial services, entrepreneurship and governance among other areas.

Cloud, Artificial Intelligence and ML are poised to drive major changes to the big data landscape in 2018. Whether you are in retail, healthcare, banking or education, you can benefit from these changes by reskilling and training your employees in big data technologies and data science. The expected results are enhanced operational performance, improved customer experience, and sustained growth.