Data and analytics in 2020: Industry predictions

December 26 2019

There's no shortage of experts and opinions in the world of data and analytics. But the end of the year provides a nice forcing function to collect analyses and prognostications, then slice, dice and summarize them. This year, as you might expect, experts in the field had a lot to say about Big Data, AI, the cloud, skills shortages and more. Our harvest of predictions follows, organized by theme.

BEATING A DEAD ELEPHANT?
What would a year-end opinion roundup be without bashing Hadoop and Big Data, while at the same time, realizing that its death is greatly exaggerated?  

Haoyuan Li, founder and CTO at Alluxio, says "There is a lot of talk about Hadoop being dead...but the Hadoop ecosystem has rising stars. Compute frameworks like Spark and Presto extract more value from data and have been adopted into the broader compute ecosystem." Li further expounds that "HDFS [the Hadoop Distributed File System] will die but Hadoop compute will live on and live strong."

Yellowbrick Data's CTO, Brian Bulkowski has a similar dead-but-alive take on things: "Big Data is well and truly dead, but the data lake looms large."  And Todd Wright, Head of Data Management and Data Privacy Solutions at SAS, reminds us that "The promise of big data never came from simply having more data – and from more sources - but by being able to develop analytical models to gain better insights on this data." 

AI IN THE ANALYTICS MAINSTREAM
Speaking of analytical models, and with the Big Data eulogies out of the way, let's move on to artificial intelligence (AI). But let's fast-forward past the hype-driven clichés and observe that there seems to be a slowly building consensus that AI and machine learning will become a sub-specialty within the broader data analytics landscape, rather than remaining quite so segregated from it. Currently separate teams will merge or coordinate more closely and, to some extent, the skill sets will become more unified as well.

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