Big Data for the year ahead: 10 predictions

2011 will be the year of 'Big Data' -- and big challenges for those maintaining IT infrastructures.

The era of Big Data has only just begun.  In the latest edition of Database Trends & Applications, I provided a series of predictions, based on input from industry experts and vendors, about the year ahead, with an emphasis on data management. Here are 10 of them:

1. Big Data calls for big realignment: The relentless growth of data is leading to a phenomenon now referred to as "Big Data." This will create new performance and budget headaches for companies.

2. Advanced and predictive analytics: Advanced analytics will take decision-making to the next level over more current rudimentary forms, such as online analytic processing (OLAP).

3. Shift from IT to the business user: More mashups, apps, and feeds their users are building and generating to manipulate data, over more devices.

4. More cloud-based services: More companies are packaging and virtualizing their own IT assets into "cloud"-like services to offer across various departments and divisions, and even to outside partners.

5. Emergence of Data as a Service: Along with the growth of private cloud-based services, expect the rise of "Data as a Service" (DaaS) approaches to enterprise data management.

6. Master Data Management and Business Process Management convergence.

7. "Data monetization": There may be big value in Big Data, but the question many companies will be grappling with over the coming year is how to find and extract that value.

8. Rise of unstructured and Internet data in enterprises: Organizations have been struggling with unstructured data - such as graphical or video files - for years. Add Web-based or social data to the mix.

9. Data "app stores": The app stores now offered through Apple and other other vendors are providing a working model for enterprises to offer and distribute data.

10. Multi-platform and multi-skills: As one expert put it: "Single-platform shops are becoming as rare as an ice cube in the Sahara."