Our previous article covered the explosive power and potential of big data, but we only touched on some of the predictions of where it’s headed. In this post we discuss some of the predictions and trends we might expect to see from big data over the next 8 years.

The infographic below highlights the predicted shifts in technology and infrastructure (both physical and human) but renders an incomplete picture unless coupled with how these changes are likely to affect business processes for large and small companies. The Gartner firm has done their own research into how these exciting new capabilities of big data will enable a fundamental transformation of these business processes over the next several years.

Prediction: Within the next 3 years, more than 30% of how a business accesses this “big data” will not be done directly but rather via an intermediary data broker.

The data available in most organizations today is incomplete and lacking to provide the kind of real-time based context based information that they require to make proper business decisions. However, the broad scope of externally accessible data available to them is found in hundreds of thousands of web and social sites, open government data, and loosely managed public data. These sources of information are highly fragmented, often outdated, poorly organized and just plain “noisy”.

This paves the way for a new category of business-centric cloud services that deliver data to businesses that is custom designed for their industry and ideally organized to help them make accurate and timely business decisions. These “data brokers” will become an essential part of business operations and enable key decision makers to make smarter business decisions.

Prediction: Within the next 3 years, nearly 1/4 of a business’ customer data analysis will involve tracking product information using the IoT {Internet of Things}.

Given the proliferation of social media and instant access to the web, customers will continue to demand a lot more information from their vendors. As the IoT infrastructure grows with the deployment of thousands (eventually millions) of tiny, inexpensive sensors that are embedded into all types of products.

These sensors will provide all manner of information for vendors to track and evaluate such as to where and how well a particular product is functioning. This creates an opportunity for companies to be much more proactive and to strengthen their customer relationships.

Prediction: By 2020, information will be used to reinvent, digitalize or eliminate 80% of business processes and products from a decade earlier.

As noted above, the presence of the Internet of Things (IoT) with its interconnected devices, sensors and smart machines, will allow and accelerate the ability for businesses to generate new types of high value real-time information.

Operational processes will quickly become fully digitalized, and older analog and manual processes will be automated. This will inevitably cause a shift such that many, if not most, non-critical business decisions will become automated using pre-programmed software based algorithms. This will eliminate a large portion of the human factor thus eliminating many traditional people-intensive tasks. Some will love it – some will hate it. Such is progress.

Check out the infographic below for some fascinating stats.

Credit: The above infographic was sourced from BBVA http://bbvaopen4u.com/en/actualidad/infographic-big-data-present-and-future