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Big data may enter mainstream in 2014, with increasing reliance on cloud

Big data may soon emerge from the experimental phase and become a critical business tool.

What will be the key trends in big data in 2014? With IT departments flooded by a growing number and variety of devices, organizations are looking to consolidate large volumes of data from different sources, ultimately leveraging them for better business intelligence. To this end, public and private cloud storage systems will be deployed to bring analytics projects in line with  business operations and technical requirements.

Big data is going mainstream in 2014, with more companies investing in Hadoop expertise and distributing responsibility for data analysis across the enterprise. Whereas many big data projects have so far been siloed or limited in scope, the next wave of initiatives may be more tightly interwoven with organizational efforts in areas such as marketing or social media management. Employees will be required to become more familiar with handling analytics, which will no longer be the exclusive province of data scientists.

"Big data and all of its tools and technologies will need to move away from being science experiments, and more into the day-to-day, second-by-second operational decision making," stated TIBCO CTO Matt Quinn, later adding "Big data will be stored and analyzed in the cloud and I expect the bulk of the 2014 data to be generated from cloud services across the stack from [platform-as-a-service] on up."

To properly scale big data projects, many enterprises will build additional cloud infrastructure. According to ZDNet, Basho, a Seagate Cloud Builder Alliance partner, predicted that CIOs would become akin to "cloud operators" that oversaw public and private clouds supporting data collection and analytics. These new implementations will be critical in light of how quickly data volumes are expected to grow. More specifically, the emergence of the Internet of Things has created a plethora of new data sources, and companies will need cloud-based solutions that scale accordingly.