Everyone knows by now that the term “Big Data” essentially just means a ton of information that can potentially impact nearly every facet of your business. Hard to imagine, then, why it might be a scary term, right? Well, if you have been in the digital industry long, you’ve heard a lot about its potential impact on how we market to consumers, how it can impact our hiring, our spend and ROI, our product models, and/or our margins. But what you’ve probably heard far less about is what impacts Big Data.
Recently, I came upon this graph on Forrester and the thing that struck me the most important was the light grey portion marked “outside forces.” Big Data is so big that we thought it was the only thing we had to worry about. This introduction of outside forces is just as important, however. There are three big factors in how we will manage Big Data in the future, and I believe them to be: sustainability, policies and security. Though globalization, society and demographics might play a role, they are, in my mind, less significant. If you can protect your data in the face of change from the first three componenets I mentioned, you will likely be prepared for the last three.
Sustainability: The energy crisis has been exploding for years now. We are simply using up too much of our resources. Many companies are trying to make changes that impact our earth in a positive way. And Big Data requires storage room, and sometimes a big storage warehouse. Therefore, we have to expect innovation in this area. The housing of data requires a large source of used energy and there will have to be a way to recycle this energy, or we will fail in sustaining Big Data’s capabilities.
Policies: Data means a lot of things, but it has a serious potential impact on our government and policies. There is a lot of information to be obtained about citizens and the protection of privacy will undoubtedly be in the forefront of people’s minds as they explore ways to make Big Data work for them. Therefore, a lot of lobbying will be required for those companies that wish to house Big Data and what information is proprietary and what belongs to the individual consumer.
Security: This relates to policies and can impact everyone involved–the consumer, the company and those trying to obtain information about individuals. There are hackers and identity thieves, but also the threat of competitors stealing proprietary information about your customers.
Consider and prepare for these outside forces to impact your data management solution as much as you can, as it is probably inevitable that all of them will. I look forward to seeing how our industry funds projects to help manage the impact of sustainability, policies and security as well.