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Where are big data and BI heading in 2013?

Analysts predict a strong uptake of in-memory technologies and cloud BI, new use cases for big data applications and more business collaboration next year.

IDC head of research Matthew Oostveen predicted an increase in the uptake of in-memory analytics and processing technologies to enable organisations to churn out information more quickly.

"We're seeing a lot of in-memory technologies that are coming out into the market place and we'll see [that] adopted in 2013. In fact, we're going to see 2013 as a year where there's going to be very strong uptake of these types of systems," he said.

Telsyte senior analyst Rodney Gedda said more CIOs will look to the cloud to deliver business intelligence (BI) strategies more efficiently as software-as-a-service (SaaS) models for BI have matured.

"The challenge in 2013 will be getting a unified view of the business with more cloud services in use and more options for data extraction from devices. BI delivered as SaaS is also one to watch now the technology to make it happen has matured," he said.

With the growth in mobile technologies and the ever-increasing amount data, Gedda said more enterprises will start to identify new use cases for big data applications, offering a higher level of business intelligence.

"For example, an agricultural company might not have had a use for big data in the past, but with telemetry data and mobile networks there can be a use case to test water levels and soil conditions and how such variables impact crop growth," he said.

Gartner's global manager of analytics and business intelligence and head of research for Asia Pacific, Ian Bertram, predicted half of analytical applications on the market next year will have embedded big data capabilities.

"We actually think 50 per cent of [analytical applications] will be embedded with some sort of big data engine like Hadoop or MapReduce. By the end of next year, you'll start to see the whole concept of big data just start to become the norm," he said.

He added that business processes will naturally improve as a result of organisations having a better understanding of how to use big data to their advantage.

"I think what we'll start to see happen is the biggest impact will be changes in process. As people start to understand how to use big data and what is actually means -- understand the right questions to ask it, understand on how to value the outcomes of that -- that will start to impact our general business processes. So how we go to market, our passing, our structures, our digital marketing, our optimisation engines."

For CIOs to be ahead in big data and BI for next year will, Oostveen said they will need to start collaborating more with other business executives in order to fully understand how big data can be used to deliver on business outcomes.

"When we talk about big data we shouldn't be just cocooning ourselves within the IT sphere," he said.

"The successful organisations and entities in the 'big data race', if you will, in 2013 will be the ones that can stand and have the permission to stand before the CEO, before the CFO, before the CMO, and, more importantly, before the board of directors. What we are talking about here concepts and notions that are far bigger than simply IT.

"For me, big data is about solving complex business challenges, it's about connecting dots that you never thought to connect and it's about out manoeuvring and side stepping your competition through innovative thinking."


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