Data is growing every minute, and it’s not showing any sign of stopping.

The pylon holding up the commercial enterprise of today is information – and it’s been the same way for decades. Petabytes and Exabytes of data racing through the information expressway of the 21st century, however have companies across the world scurrying to assimilate the most audacious datasets possible – all in the hope of gleaning that extra insight, that extra edge, over the others in the race. If you aren’t leveraging data, your own or from any other domain, you’re not even in the game.

2017 shaped big data - and big data will shape us in 2018.


More is in vogue. More is advanced. More is different. More is what every company demands today. After all, the data deluge of the 2010s is giving birth to a qualitative shift from mere number crunching to the present-day quest for actionable insights. However, people are still confined to experiment with the ever-increasing data deluge. But most of the assumptions associated with the ordeals in data processing and cost of data collection have created an immediate need for an overhaul. In the very near future, possibly less than half a decade, no sector of any nation or industry would be immune from the astounding big data shakeup as it plows through business, society, politics, and practically everything else.

While machine learning, cloud - based technologies and artificial intelligence dominated 2017-  here’s a roundup of what 2018 is going to look like.

  • Witnessing big data history in the making: By 2020, the worldwide revenue for business analytics and big data will grow to more than $200 billion from $130 billion. Banking, which happens to be the industry with the largest investment (around $20bn) in business analytics solutions, will bear the most prominent testimony to the history that big data is going to make.


  • The stream of revenue growth coming in from the information-based solutions will be twice of the rest of the products for more than 1/3rd Fortune 500 organizations.
  • By 2025, more than 180 zettabytes of data will be created which will make data monetization one of the primary revenue sources.
  • Process manufacturing, banking, discrete manufacturing, and central/federal governments will be the biggest investors in big data solutions.


  • Letting the machine take care of machines- Gone are the days when machine learning was considered the sole preserve of scientists. Come 2018, every organization will be able to leverage the ‘intelligent’ features of machine learning. The market of machine learning systems and AI is expected to grow around $45bn by 2020.


  • A 10-fold growth in commercial projects – resultantly- better detection of fake news. 
  • The financial sector will make the most of machine learning technologies.
  • By 2020, what a person writes or says would be analyzed by cognitive systems- including, intonation, syntax, and meanings, thereby, providing early indicators of mental illness, neurological diseases, or any other disorder. 


  • “In Scientists we trust, Data Scientists must bring skillsets”- Data science is certainly giving rise to many new roles – While Data Scientists are earning $105,000 on an average, jobs demanding machine learning competencies are paying $110,000 and Data Engineering jobs pay a decent $115,000. They say ‘Supply always comes on the heels of demand”, here’s what the data science market looks like-
  • By 2020, the number of job openings in data science will increase to 2,700,000 from 360,000 in the US.
  • Finance and Insurance, Information Technologies, Retail Trade, Technical and Scientific Services, and Manufacturing will be the top 5 industries that would hire big data professionals.
  • By 2020, demand for data developers, data engineers, and data scientists will reach around 700,000 annually.
  • The most visible job titles in this burgeoning sector will include Data Scientists, Data Architects, Data Visualizers, Data Analysts, Research Analysts, and Business Analysts.



  • The future of the cloud is not cloudy, at all! - After all, choosing Hadoop or Spark is not the path towards big data success. Selecting the right infrastructure certainly is! 2018 will see around 35% enterprises moving to an on-premises/hybrid cloud model for data processing as well as storage.
  • The global spending on groundbreaking public cloud services is expected to grow 18% in 2018.
  • Cloud computing, which will become a $240bn business in the market is expected to account for the most of analytics and solutions purchases by the year 2020.


  • “Real Stupidity beats Artificial Intelligence”- Now, It won’t!  -  Artificial Intelligence has finally gone mainstream. The journey that started from being a newbie in the market has today translated into being the ‘next big thing.’ From analytics and marketing to robotics and customer service, AI has a lot in store for the enterprises to explore.
  • With Siri, Alexa, Cortana (read just another AI chatbot) and other customer service chatbots would attract everyone from toddlers to seniors ‘intelligently’.
  • In 2018, AI will apply reinforcement learning to various problems which will enable machines to comprehend human psychology and make improved decisions.
  • More than 50% enterprises will deploy at least 1 chatbot by 2021.
  • AI, by 2025, will reduce 1.8mn jobs in other sectors while creating 2mn new jobs in its own.
  • Big players like SAP Leonardo, Salesforce Einstein, and IBM Watson to name just a few, are already busy instituting embedded AI into their unique platforms.

"I am very honored and proud of this unique distinction. This is historical to be the first robot in the world to be recognized with a citizenship"

-          The Sophia Bot, developed by AI Developer David Hanson

  • Pepper and Sophia (humanoid robots designed with the abilities to comprehend emotions; and with the ability to adapt and learn human behavior) already represent the advances in the world of AI and deep learning. More power to you, AI!


  • The IoT Connectivity Binge – 500 million photo uploads on both Facebook and Instagram. Around 500,000 hours of video uploads on YouTube. 8.4 billion connected devices. Social Media and mobile internet have empowered people to become generators of data and Internet of Things has always worked in tandem with them.
  • There will be more than 20bn connected devices by 2019.
  • The IoT technology would be integrated in more than 95% of electronic devices.
  • The IoT security market will touch a CAGR of 24% by reaching $840mn in 2020.
  • Tech giants comprising SAP, SAS, Microsoft, and IBM among others will invest heavily in IoT analytics to derive actionable business insights.


  • “May you live in interesting times”- Yes, indeed! When big data came into existence, many possibilities and opportunities came along. Big data is giving phenomenal power to all those who want to delve into the world of data science as data scientists, analysts, storytellers, architects, developers and what not! The top 5 recruiters in 2018 will be BFSI, Retail, IT, Insurance, and Manufacturing.
  • Online vacancy mentions for skilled data science professionals among employers is growing 118% every year!
  • The US alone will face a shortage of around 200,000 skilled big data professionals.
  • Skills like Data Visualization, Machine learning and NoSQL, Apache Spark, Apache Hadoop, SAS, R, and Data mining will be in high demand.


The big data era has a lot in store. However, many challenges in this sphere confront white-collar employees of the 21st century- akin to the challenges that blue-collar laborers faced in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

But at the same time- there are myriad benefits that big data can bring about in society. Technology will undoubtedly give birth to more jobs, although it will happen after a short-lived period of disruptive transformation; a revisit to the grand old days of the ‘Industrial Revolution’. It was certainly a tumultuous time, but the results were evident in the prosperity that ensued.

Groundbreaking innovations in the big data space are already changing the way we live, conduct science, cure cancer, detect frauds and operate our businesses. It’s an ‘in-thing’ on the verge of becoming a norm. The trend is set to grow manifold.


The only thing that 2018 will change is the fact that companies will not push in-house employees for training anymore, the employees will, themselves, ask for it. There has always been employability for the skilled, but, with the widening talent gap, organizations are looking for professionals with an adequate technical expertise to enable big data initiatives within the organization. 

To function per the impending changes, millennials will need to reskill around 15-20 times throughout their professional life.

-          A joint report by FICCI and Nasscom


Recruiters are expecting around 60% growth in the demand for machine learning and AI specialists in 2018. AI alone will create more than 2mn jobs across the globe by 2020. The most in-demand job titles would be Data Scientist, Database Developer, Business Intelligence Analyst, Data Engineer, Database Administrator, and Data Analytics Manager – While these facts look nothing less than alluring, one of the biggest challenges that every professional face is to work in tandem with the expanding list of essential skills.

Technology will surprise us, every moment, like it would to an ancient person with an abacus checking an iPhone - and the forward-thinkers would be the next leaders. Are you planning to be one?


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Tags: Big Data., Data Science.


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