Online education portals like Udacity and Coursera are really changing the world of remote learning in significant ways. By making free and high quality education accessible to a global audience, these platforms are opening up undreamt of possibilities for communities around the world to improve, grow, and prosper in the digital economy of the 21st century. Education at top tier colleges and universities has traditionally been a social and economic privilege, but now anyone can join in the learning revolution by sitting in virtual classrooms with the world’s best and brightest educators. Whether this involves learning how to code and build smart phone apps, or starting up a new business, or learning about public health literacy, the sky is the limit of what’s now possible.

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7 things you need to know about Big Data in 2015

Big Data has been huge in recent years but it’s only going to get bigger as we see more and more of Internet of Things arrive on the scene. As one source describes, “It is taking internet to another level: connecting things and making sense of the data coming in, while sending actions back out to optimize things.” With more devices connected to the Internet, companies will truly have a flood of data to access and try to use to maximize their bottom line. Companies of all shapes and sizes really need to gain mastery of how to collect, prepare, analyze, and visualize various types of data (structured, semi-structured, and unstructured).




There continues to be a lot of excitement around Big Data, fueled even more by the surge in IoT. What is helpful is to take a brief reality check to figure out what the most important points you should be considering about Big Data. Let’s outline the top 7 things you should know about Big Data as it stands at the beginning of 2015.

1. Big Data is only going to get much bigger

Basic statistics tell us that we’re only scratching the surface of where the Big Data market is going, and again we can see this upward trend in relation to IoT. The growth here is exponential since the amount of data in the world more than doubles every 3 years. This means that by 2015 the world will have 8 zettabytes of data, which is an 8 with 21 zeros after it of bytes!

2. Internet of Things will mean really, really Big Data

Researchers predict that by 2020 over 30 billion objects will wirelessly be connected to the internet. With the massive levels of information processing we’re already seeing, it doesn’t take rocket science to imagine the kinds of data that will become available from these sources . . . and the kinds of resources needed to capture and process and share all of this data. Truly, the dawn of the Big Data era is only beginning!

3. Big Data & IoT will lead to Unified Endpoint Management

Businesses need to get comfortable with a new framework for device management that focuses on support for wearables and IoT connected devices. The new keyword in this arena is ‘endpoint’. The paradigm, in fact, is shifting away from mobile device management (MDM) to one called Unified Endpoint Management (UEM). Start to recognize the integration of wearables, IoT, smartphones & tablets into one holistic management framework involving data, cloud, and mobile interactivity.

4. There is a Big Data talent shortage

You’ve probably heard this point elsewhere but it bears repeating. There exists a clear shortage of talent necessary to meet the business demands of Big Data. According to a McKinsey report on this topic, “The United States alone faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts to analyze big data and make decisions based on their findings.”




5. Businesses struggle with how to derive business value from Big Data

A 2013 report by Tata Consultancy Services revealed that one of the biggest business challenges with managing Big Data is cultural, not technological. Let’s turn to the report itself for clarifying this point:

It is an organizational or cultural issue: getting business units in a company to share information across the organizational silos (divisions, business functions, etc.). This issue has plagued companies for decades, long before the phrase ’Big Data’ was coined. Business functions become protective of their data and often don’t have any incentive to share it internally. However, many business decisions can be dramatically improved when decision makers have access to the bigger picture: what’s happening with certain customers, problematic products, and service issues.

6. Apple Watch and wearables will be primary channels for Big Data

Apple has just raised the bar on wearable technology a notch with the pending release of its new Apple Watch, which doubles as a health and digital fitness tracking device. Wearables gathering these kinds of metrics are just some of the innovations that will bring Big Data into an epic new era. Here, as never before, businesses also will have incredible opportunities to capture additional stores of information about who we are, what we do in our free time, our favorite books, and many, many other life preferences.




7. Big Data & IoT will lead to a more service oriented models for data delivery

Raj Badarinath, senior director of product marketing at commerce solutions provider Avangate, believes that the new IoT era will introduce a fundamental new business model away from the traditional focus on hardware to services on top of that hardware. He states: “In the IoT era, new models such as subscriptions, freemiums and bundles are rapidly becoming the preferred choice over traditional hardware options. Services are easily upgradeable, much more amenable to ecosystems that are constructed around hardware, and provide multiple revenue opportunities rather than a one-time sale.” Again, big data will become critical to this new business model, and this will mean gaining a 360 degree view of the customer in ways that will keep them happy and engaged.

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About Jeffrey Walker

Jeff is a business development consultant who specializes in helping businesses grow through technology innovations and solutions. He holds multiple master’s degrees from institutions such as Andrews University and Columbia University, and leverages this background towards empowering people in today’s digital world. He currently works as a research specialist for a Fortune 100 firm in Boston. When not writing on the latest technology trends, Jeff runs a robotics startup called, along with oversight and leadership of - an emerging market assistance company that helps businesses grow through innovation.
  • DataH

    Jeffrey, Big Data is surely a big deal. We definitely are seeing an increase in activity with companies responding to the impact big data has made on their business. For companies any size, getting meaningful insights from data analytics is an important priority. LexisNexis has open sourced its HPCC Systems big data platform which represents more than a decade of internal research and development in the big data analytics field. Designed by data scientists, their built-in libraries for Machine Learning and BI integration provide a complete integrated solution from data ingestion and data processing to data delivery. More at