“Big Data” and “Next-Generation Analytics” on Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2012 List

On Monday at the Gartner Symposium, David Cearley presented Gartner’s annual list of the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2012. Among those that made the list are big data and next-generation analytics. Although the two items are listed separately, the two technologies go hand-in-hand and can provide the most compelling and effective experience for exploring and navigating through complex data.

Gartner's Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends in 2012[Source: PC Magazine]

It comes as no surprise that the two items were listed, as organizations are besieged by an explosive growth of information coming from disparate data sources every day. This data can be structured, semi-structured, and unstructured. With the annual growth rate well over 100%, analyzing and understanding big data has become a top priority.

For far too long, organizations have spent too much money and resources on collecting data, scrambling around to ensure data integrity, and finally, wondering how to make use of this data. More and more, organizations are starting to realize the need for technologies that can help them maximize the value of their data assets.

Traditional analytics that have relied on computers and algorithms to do the work for them are starting to be deemed limiting, especially with the growth of unstructured data. As Gartner continues to push big data and next-generation analytics, organizations need to adopt technologies that can drive business decision-making in ways not possible before. This new wave of analytic techniques, or advanced visual analysis, harnesses the most powerful pattern recognition system available — the human brain. Advanced visual analysis will help organizations discover key insights that were hidden in the past and turn the challenges of big data into opportunities.

Deloitte’s Top Tech Trends 2011

In Deloitte’s top Tech Trends of 2011 report, data visualization is named as one of the (re)emerging enablers. Representing complex data in simple visual forms that are easy to communicate is nothing new; but up until recently, some data visualization tools that enterprise and government organizations are using have stopped short.

So what’s new in 2011?

Users can explore their data in new ways with emerging technologies such as mobile devices, tablets with multi-touch interfaces, and cloud computing –mixed with awesome features like interactivity, animation, intuitive touch functions, link analysis, and predictive modeling. These new types of visualization technologies enable you to proactively discover new insights, unlike the static and passive views in many visualization technologies in the past. This holds true especially with the growing amounts of unstructured data such as e-mails, tweets, text messages, Facebook posts, and so on. Visualization will be crucial for organizations needing to organize and draw correlations in relationships among these types of data.

Another difference in 2011 is that the underlying architecture has evolved. Visualization technology can now handle large-scale data, and the end result will still be intuitive and easy to analyze to enhance decision-making. Further, these technologies will be designed with the business end-user in mind, rather than requiring users to have a deep knowledge and understanding of the underlying data structures and SQL.

Read Deloitte’s full report.