Roundup of Big Data Pundits' Predictions for 2013

Social Media Strategist, Information & Analytics Group

Annual predictions are like relatives at a cocktail party: once you introduce them, you never know if they’ll flatter or embarrass you. And while some relatives may overstay their welcome, you can eventually escape them. Predictions, however, hang around. Just ask the Mayans.

But that doesn’t stop thought leaders, analysts and other subject matter experts from laying their reputations on the line every year for our education (and amusement). I do admire their confidence  though, so here is a roundup of what some of the top thinkers think.



Architecture & Platforms

“Real-time architectures will swing to prominence. Firms that find predictive models in big data must put them to use. Firms will seek out streaming, event processing, and in-memory data technologies to provide real-time analytics and run predictive models.” – Mike Gualtieri, Principal Analyst, Forrester

“Enterprise Big Data Initiatives Move out of the Sandbox.” – John Bantleman, CEO of RainStor, wrote in a Wired post titled, “Big Data: Business or Technology Challenge?”

“Many of the newer approaches will find their first significant enterprise foothold in the big-data staging tier, processing a dizzying range of new unstructured data types.” – James Kobielus, Big Data Evangelist, IBM

“Open source software/platforms will play a pivotal role in Big Data Infrastructure.” – Ashish Nadkarni, Research Director, IDC

Hadoop & Tools

“Companies will Look to New Technology Combinations, other than Hadoop, when Managing Big Data.” – John Bantleman, CEO RainStor

“In spite of what you may have heard, Hadoop is not the sum total of big data… Increasingly, users realize that no one type of big-data platform will be optimal for all requirements.” – Kobielus

“As more and more companies gain success we will see patterns and solutions arise that are custom-fit for a challenge found in a particular industry.” – Herb Cunitz, President, Hortonworks

“We will see increased demand for Big Data tools and applications that will be easier to use and will satisfy the business user, not just data scientist users. All market indicators point to this. If you look at Hadoop-based technology capabilities, many are still immature and require unique specialized skills.” – Bantleman

Data governance

“As big data goes into production, it will need to integrate with the rest of the enterprise. Many of the issues concerned with data governance will rise to the fore, including data security, data consistency, reducing data duplication and regulatory compliance.” – Edd Dumbill, Principal Analyst, O’Reilly Radar

“Governance will become a prime focus of maturing big-data deployments” – Kobielus

Analytics & Data Science

“New analytic methods will be discovered while wrestling Big Data to the ground, and they will get re-purposed and become useful on Small Data. Which is all most of us have anyway. – Jeff Jonas, IBM Fellow and Distinguished Engineer

“In a sense, traditional BI has become the 'question generator,' and analytics is becoming the 'answer machine.'” – Steven Hillion, Chief Data Officer, Alpine Data Labs (in a post on IT Business Edge, “Big Data and Beyond: 10 BI Trends for 2013”)

In that same article, Brad Peters, CEO and co-founder of Birst, said, “We’ll see Big Data move beyond the data scientist in 2013. . . . You won’t have to have a Ph.D., allowing the business analyst to start taking advantage of everything Big Data has to offer.”

“We're seeing an acceleration in the evolution from multiple channel to cross channel to omni channel, or what you would call cross cutters," Ravi Kalakota, faculty member at  International Institute for Analytics, told Beth Schultz in an All Analytics article titled, “Big-Data Meltdown & Other Predictions for 2013.” Schultz explained, “This is about capturing insights on those customers standing in your place of business, product in hand, but surfing on their smartphones and making the purchase online, for instance.”

“As the role of data scientists grows in the business world, more organizations will establish internal centers of excellence in 2013 to foster standardization, reuse, collaboration, governance, and automation within and across advanced analytics initiatives.” – Kobielus

“Firms increasingly realize that [big data] must use predictive and descriptive analytics to find nonobvious information to discover value in the data. Advanced analytics uses advanced statistical, data mining, and machine learning algorithms to dig deeper to find patterns that you can’t see using traditional BI tools, simple queries, or rules.” – Gualtieri

“Data analytics could greatly benefit social services providers who need to focus their resources and customize treatment on a per-individual basis.” – Jeff Kelly, Technology Market Analyst, Wikibon, and Maria Deutscher, Staff Writer, SiliconAngle

“In financial services, the ability to use tools to understand and interpret Voice of Customer (VOC), risk and fraud patterns, and, in concert with mobile banking apps, offers real-time segmentation to build customer loyalty and retention, and the highest return in terms of value,” Elizabeth Dias, financial services marketing manager at Perficient, told The Financial Board in “Retail Banking Trends and Predictions for 2013.”

“The career of the search marketer and analyst is now at a tipping point. There is simply too much data and too many changes to capture all the possible opportunity in search marketing solely through professional expertise. Today’s marketers need big data applications that leverage the search marketer’s knowledge, expertise and judgment while giving that search marketer scale and agility.” – Raj De Datta, Co-Founder, BloomReach


“Cloud-based platforms will give users the tools to access, share, and curate collections of analytics applications.” – George Mathew, President and COO of Alteryx told IT Business Edge.

“Cloud computing and big data drive the increase in IT resource consumption, but they are also a part of the solution.” – Kelly and Deutscher

“Data Analytics as a Service (or also referred to asBig Data as a Service (BDaaS)) will have the highest growth (obviously building from a small base in revenue given its level of maturity).” – Jim Kaskade, CEO, Infochimps

“2013 will be the year of ‘Big Data in the Cloud’” – Nadkarni


“There is no doubt that 'big data' was overused and misunderstood as a term and underutilized as a tool in 2012. There is also little disagreement among industry leaders that banks will be aiming to use both structured and unstructured data more extensively in 2013 as the collecting, storage and processing capability becomes easier and less costly.” – Jim Marous, SVP, New Control

“Firms will realize that “big data” means all of their data. Big data is the frontier of a firm’s ability to store, process, and access (SPA) all of the data it needs to operate effectively, make decisions, reduce risks, and create better customer experiences.” – Gualtieri

“I expect to see increasing understanding of where big data responsibility sits within a company’s org chart. Big data is fundamentally a business problem, and some of the biggest challenges in taking advantage of it lie in the changes required to cross organizational silos and reform decision making.” – Dumbill

Time magazine will name big data its 2013 person of the year.” – Gualtieri

“The increasing need to leverage Big Data for competitive advantage, along with the rise in innovative product offerings, will change the way enterprises store, manage and analyze their most critical asset — data.” – Bantleman

“End users just want to solve problems, but will continue to fight IT over who owns the platform powering their much-needed data-driven applications.” – Kaskade


In a sense, the Mayans were lucky. Sure, they’re dead, but at least they didn’t have to face up to the skewering they took about their failed apocalyptic prediction. We'll check back later this year to see how our pundits fared.



Big Data Predictions for 2013” – Mike Gualtieri, Forrester, January 2, 2013

Big Data: Business or Technology Challenge?” – John Bantleman, Wired, January 13, 2013

Koby’s Big Data Predictions for 2013” – James Kobielus, IBM Big Data Hub, January 3, 2013

Recap of Big Data Predictions 2013: Infrastructure Perspective” – Ashish Nadkarni, IDC Insights, January 9, 2013

Apache Hadoop: Seven Predictions for 2013” – Herb Cunitz, Hortonworks blog, December 20, 2012

Five big data predictions for 2013” – Edd Dumbill, O’Reilly Strata, January 16, 2013

Peering Into the Coming Year” – David Pittman, IBM Big Data Hub, December 20, 2012

Big Data and Beyond: 10 BI Trends for 2013” – Drew Robb, IB Business Edge, January 2, 2013

Big-Data Meltdown & Other Predictions for 2013” – Beth Schultz, All Analytics, December 13, 2012

“Big Data Predictions for 2013: More Social Service, Government Opportunities” (Blog and video) – Jeff Kelly and Maria Deutscher, SiliconAngle, December 27, 2012

Retail Banking Trends and Predictions for 2013” – The Financial Board, January 9, 2013

6 Predictions for 2013: Search Marketing & Big Data Analytics” – Raj De Datta, Search Engine Watch, January 16, 2013

Big Data Predictions for 2013” – Jim Kaskade, Big Data SYS-CON, January 4, 2013

Banking Leaders Predict Major 2013 Trends” – Jim Marous, Bank Marketing Strategy, January 10, 2013