Some Things We Know about the Future of Big Data

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“Big Data” is one of today’s hot topics. If you’re having a conference, you want something about “Big Data” on the agenda. If you’re concerned about the future of your business, that term is bouncing around in your brain.

Prepare to be surprised.

We really don’t know what the Big Data future will be like. There will be several thoughtful predictions by knowledgeable people. Some of them will get some of it right.

Be skeptical of “speed of adoption” claims

The most common error in predicting technological change is to be overly optimistic about how fast things will happen. To quote Paul Saffo: “Never mistake a clear view for a short distance.”

The users will complete the innovation.

This is always true. When real users get hold of Big Data, they’ll do things with it that no one has thought of yet. Remember that Edison did not include playing recorded music among the things he thought his phonograph would be used for.

The term “Big Data” may go away

If Big Data really changes the way we do business it won’t be a topic for discussion anymore. Remember “extranet?” If it has slightly less impact, we won’t capitalize it anymore. Remember when we always capitalized “internet?”

Ride the Hype Cycle.

Most hot technologies go through a period when they’re over-hyped followed by a period of disillusionment and negative press. After that, things get more sensible. But you have to wait it out.

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