Business Intelligence and Data Warehouses have been a staple in most large enterprises for decades but with the advent of Cloud Computing and the rise of the “Internet of Things” (IoT) Business Intelligence and Data Warehouses are going mainstream in what the world is coming to know as “Big Data”. With the release of new cloud services like HDInsight on Microsoft Azure or Watson Analytics from IBM, “Big Data” and Business Analytics are now available to anyone who wants it. This capability coupled with the massive amounts of data being collected about us now through the web and mobile apps and in the future from the Internet of Things all enterprises regardless of size will be have an unparalleled level of insight into their current and potential customers. Enterprises will have the ability to make much more informed business decisions and from those decisions hopefully increase profits, reduce risks and improve customer satisfaction and retention.
“Big Data” also creates new business opportunities. I expect the future will see many new start-ups whose business will be to collect/harvest massive datasets and then make the data available as a service. Other start-ups will mine the data while others will make a business of providing the tools that will make this data available to all us who are not Data Scientists.
“Big Data” is a very disruptive technology and as such in addition to the many benefits it also has a number of potential pitfalls, for example this type of capability could easily be used to discriminate against people, invade their privacy or be a source of racial profiling. To quote Francois-Marie Arouet aka Voltaire. “With Great Power comes Great Responsibility” and “Big Data” will be a great power wielded by everyone in the not so distant future. “Big Data” will be the engine that drives the business decisions made in the 21st century and those businesses that start now will have a distinct advantage over those that don’t.