With everything that’s been going on in 2020, it’s easy to forget that we’re on the cusp of a new decade. Technology continues to advance, and big data keeps getting bigger perhaps even more so now that many people are stuck at home, using the internet to stay connected more than ever before. Data is proliferating at staggering rate humankind will generate more than 175 zettabytes of data by 2025.
Over the next ten years, players big and small are expected to seek ways to implement data science to increase profits and improve operations. Data analytics is a fast-growing and rapidly changing field, but these are some of the most important trends data scientists expect to see in the decade to come.
1) More Smart Stuff
It seems like you literally can’t even buy a lightbulb these days that doesn’t connect to the internet. Everyone wants smart gadgets. Worldwide Internet of Things (IoT) spending is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2022. People are already using their smartphones to adjust their thermostats, control their televisions, and even lock and unlock their doors. The more things get connected to the internet and the more people engage with that connectivity, the more piles of data are going to be generated.
2) Dark Data Making Its Way Into the Light
What’s “dark data”? It’s all that data that’s generated but never used for anything. Even now, many organizations are collecting much more data than they can use. Maybe they never even wanted to use all the data that they collected they just happened to collect it on the way to collecting the data that they actually wanted. Over the next ten years, organizations will start to migrate this data to the cloud, where it can be accessible and perhaps used for predictive analysis. Analog data which is data stored on physical mediums will continue to find its way onto the cloud.
3) More Regulations Governing Data Collection
Laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have already sought to regulate the collection of data and protect consumers’ rights to the privacy and security of their information. Data collection regulations will profoundly affect how businesses collect, handle, and use data. Demand for data scientists will increase as businesses increasingly seek professionals who understand the regulatory landscape.
4) Advancements in Real-Time Data Analytics and Visualization
In many organizations, data is piling up so fast that it’s hard to use it to make actionable decisions in real-time. That is expected to change this decade as data analytics tools emerge that can allow users to process and analyze data in real time. As of 2020, 40 percent of data science tasks have already been automated, according to one report. Data preparation, replication, and maintenance can all already be automated.
Automation will continue to make massive datasets manageable so that real-time analytics and processing can take a growing role in influencing day-to-day operations. Real-time data visualizations will continue to open up avenues for dataset exploration and make data more accessible to a wider range of users.
5) The Emergence of Cloud-Native Enterprises
Especially with recent world events, businesses have been leaning heavily on the cloud for storage solutions, collaborative tools, and software platforms. Many are already running all their IT infrastructure on the cloud. Thirty-two percent of new business applications were cloud-native in 2020, meaning they’re developed with the needs of cloud-based businesses in mind. They’re easy to uncouple from hardware, and usually consist of a loose bundle of microservices that can be deployed independently for maximum flexibility. Data-as-a-service (DaaS) will offer storage and access solutions to businesses looking to the cloud to modernize their IT infrastructure. This should remove the limitations that internal data storage can bring and allow companies to compile and analyze data streams without worrying about the nitty gritty of maintaining the raw datasets.
The next decade promises to be an exciting one for data scientists. As big data grows ever bigger, the regulatory landscape evolves, and companies seek to draw more and more value out of the data they’re collecting, data science promises to grow exponentially into a dominant industry.