It is said that everyone has at least three life changing ideas in their lives. Most people turn a blind eye to them, preferring to make more pragmatic career choices for a variety of reasons, 100% of which involve the amount of money required to change the world. That's fine, very good, not everyone should be an inventor or entrepreneur and the world is better off for it. However, if you have made the sane decision of keeping at your more practical, a little bit mundane line of work, it is no guarantee the idea will leave you peacefully.
I have highlighted in previous articles here and here how Information Technology has empowered, transformed Africa for the better in the last 10 years alone. Innovation, entrepreneurship and private sector involvement has emerged as a favored route out of poverty for many development organisations and financiers. Its potential to reduce unemployment, tackle societal challenges and stimulate economic growth has sparked significant interest and investment.
Big Data is the buzzword amongst businessmen nowadays. Regardless of industry or company size, it manages to squeeze itself into every nook and cranny. It fills hush hush industry conversations and is mentioned with an air of stilted excitement, “The next big thing in business.” If you’re interested in innovative money making, no doubt you’ve heard it whispered that here’s where you should be looking. Alrighty then, we’re about to take a really good look at this latest buzzword and break it down. Is it really what it’s cracked up to be or are IT experts blowing hot air up our *ahem* just to watch us dance? Well, first, what is this mysterious Big Data?
The late 90’s and early 2000s showed a remarkable change in tech the world over. The next decade brought us advances so fast and furiously inventive, we’re still in awe of the great innovative potential of humanity. Considering what we have seen so far, is it any wonder that we’re curious about what’s coming next?
Technology over the next five to ten years (2012-22) will be radically different with great improvements in increasingly shorter time spans as it becomes more personalized, more customized and more customizable. Self-service and self-publishing are increasing as is the functionality, ease of use, and diminishing size of technology devices. The usability of technology will increase as will the simplicity of interfaces and perhaps even become integrated biologically. These capabilities will come with an increase in the complexity of the devices. Just as automobile engines are no longer within the capabilities of the home “shade tree mechanic,” technology will be complex to troubleshoot and integrate, much of it becoming a “throw away” product like basic calculators today when they stop working. The integration of technologies will expand, including communications, computing, audio, video, handwriting and speech recognition, facial recognition, virtual keyboards and virtual screens, while becoming much smaller and more powerful. With cloud, mobile, social and big data advances all happening at once and at lightning speed, how will shifts in technology impact the way businesses are run?
The world we live in today is driven by the collection and dissemination of useful data. The human race collects and disperses a ridiculously high volume of data. Developed economies have realized that data in itself is useless if it is not well organized and easily accessible. The human brain can only comprehend relevant data that corresponds with the mental patterns it already has.