Year Ahead

Four things to watch in big data

Big Data word graphic

Big data has moved beyond buzzword. From continued federal investment in big data and hints via the Edward Snowden leaks at how the technology is already being used by intelligence agencies, big data is growing in usefulness. What then can we expect in 2014?

Bill Cull, vice president of Splunk’s public sector business, offered four predictions to FCW,

Driving efficiencies: “2014 will prove to be the year people start to leverage big data,” particularly to drive efficiency across IT organizations, Cull said. He points to some agencies that began using big data for root-cause analysis, honing in on IT environments like never before.

Hadoop’s role grows: “In 2014, there will be a lot more implementations of Hadoop in more mission-critical applications,” Cull said. “It’s going to move out of the sandbox and into more of a production environment.” What that means is that the most popular open-source tool for big data management may get more play in applications that really matter.

Non-traditional users come to the table: Big data is not limited to defense, scientific and tax agencies, but those are the ones that have made best use of the technology so far. Not for long, Cull said. “We’re seeing more and more of the non-traditional agencies having conversations about big data,” Cull said.

More buy-in from leadership: Cull said the Obama administration’s $200 million big data investment in 2012 carried over to form more agency/industry partnerships in 2013, catching the attention of top IT leadership government-wide. “There will be better examples for leadership across agencies to follow, and more buy-in from leadership around what is possible with big data,” Cull said. “We’re going to get beyond the traditional nomenclature. People in 2014 are really going to understand that the answers to questions they’re asking are already there. Do we want to unlock them? You have to have leadership.”

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

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Reader comments

Fri, Jan 10, 2014 DataH

Frank, very good article! With the explosion of big data, companies are faced with data challenges in three different areas. First, you know the type of results you want from your data but it’s computationally difficult to obtain. Second, you know the questions to ask but struggle with the answers and need to do data mining to help find those answers. And third is in the area of data exploration where you need to reveal the unknowns and look through the data for patterns and hidden relationships. The open source HPCC Systems big data processing platform can help companies with these challenges by deriving insights from massive data sets quick and simple. Designed by data scientists, it is a complete integrated solution from data ingestion and data processing to data delivery. Their built-in Machine Learning Library and Matrix processing algorithms can assist with business intelligence and predictive analytics. More at http://hpccsystems.com

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