Streaming analytics to be key big data priority for 2016

Improved streaming analytics capabilities, self-service solutions and advanced in-memory tools will be among the key big data analytics technologies businesses will be investigating throughout 2016, a new report has found.

A study by Forrester Research, which notes the development of big data technology is reaching a new stage this year, as organisations aim to embed the solutions into the applications that power their operations.

InformationWeek reports that the main priorities for 2016 indicate a change in businesses' attitudes and approach to big data. In previous years, companies were still struggling to get to grips with the technology and how they could extend their existing solutions to incorporate big data.

Now, however, there is a much higher level of confidence in the tools available. Research vice-president and principal analyst at Forrester Brian Hopkins said: "Forrester has seen an explosion in client adoption of big data since we first wrote about it in 2011. For example, the number of firms implementing streaming analytics, a key leading-edge big data technology, more than doubled between 2012 and 2015." 

The research firm defines streaming analytics software as tools that are capable of filtering, aggregating, enriching, and analysing a high throughput of data from multiple disparate live data sources and in any data format. By identifying both simple and complex patterns, such tools enable businesses to get a real-time pictures of their operations, detect urgent situations, and automate immediate actions.

Increased demand for tools such as Apache Spark illustrates the challenges businesses are facing when it comes to processing and analysing data in real time, the report continued.

Elsewhere, newer, more business-focused goals for big data analytics will see higher demand for advanced analytics solutions that make use of in-memory computing and data preparation tools.

"To keep pushing revenue growth and digital customer experience transformation, big data technology is expanding its scope," wrote Hopkins. "It must also address the scale, speed, and integration requirements necessary to embed insights into the very fabric of next-generation, insights-driven businesses."

Overall, the report found that many organisations are set to make significant investments into big data this year, with more than six out of ten firms in Europe and North America planning to have systems in place by the end of 2016.

However, many organisations are said to be at a crossroads when it comes to making decisions on their big data deployments. Although many of Forrester's clients are looking to invest in technology for real-time data processing and user and customer self service, they are often unsure of which options to choose amid a crowded field of options from open source and commercial vendors.

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