By Vivek Kumar
At present, the world generates nearly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. Almost 90% of the data available today has been generated in the past two years. Companies and organisations around the world are leveraging this data to enhance the functioning of their businesses.
When combined with data science, Big Data analytics can reveal new and fresh solutions that lie hidden in the massive amount of data at our disposal. Even if you’re new to the Big Data game, thankfully, there are many Big Data certification and courses, to help you understand the nitty-gritty of Big Data and Analytics. With the widespread adoption of Big Data in all business domains, the focus of stakeholders is rapidly changing from software to algorithms.
According to Peter Sondergaard, the Senior VP of Gartner Research, “If the most important thing you offer is data, you are in trouble. Big data is not where the value is. Data is certainly necessary, but it is transient. By itself, it is not transformative. The organization can view you as the data keeper, but anyone can store data. Anyone can hire someone to store data and even analyze it. Data is inherently dumb. It doesn’t do anything unless you know how to use it and act on it. An algorithm is where the real value lies. Algorithms define an action.”
Algorithms: The Fuel For IoT, automation, and customisation
With so much data available today, it is essential to break it down into forms that can be understood, and put to practical use by businesses. This is where algorithms come in. In an era of customisation, smart consumers are always looking for products and services that are exclusively designed to solve their problems. Consumers want something “unique.”
Algorithms can learn consumers’ behaviour patterns, understand the functions of connected devices within a system, and craft business processes accordingly. This in turn can help redefine the customer experience.
Gartner maintains that by 2020, over 150 new devices will connect to the Internet of Things (IoT) every second. These connected devices will also likely be connected to smartphones. As a result, the amount of data produced will also increase exponentially. But, how will we make sense of such an enormous volume of data? The solution lies in algorithms, which power automation—the very essence of IoT.
Why will algorithms have the upper hand in the future?
Gartner predicts that algorithms will soon change the way businesses are conducted, and will have a significant impact on every industry. Some predictions made by Gartner during the Gartner IT Expo are:-
- By 2018, robotic algorithms will take over businesses. Machines will dictate nearly 20% of the business content.
- By 2018, over 3 million employees will be supervised by “roboboss”—algorithms that will lay out the work to be completed by employees.
- By 2018, companies will shrink in size as algorithms and smart machines take over manual jobs.
- By 2018, nearly 2 million employees will wear fitness wearables and trackers. The data generated will be controlled and monitored by algorithms.
- By 2020, 5% of all economic transactions will be controlled by autonomous algorithms. The demand for pattern-matching algorithms that detect robot thieves, will also be on the rise.
- By 2020, 40% of all mobile transactions will be powered by smart agents, and Cloud-based algorithms will eliminate the need for individual apps to monitor and track our daily tasks.
Businesses are looking to cater their customers at a much more personalised level, and old-fashioned software will no longer be as valuable as it was in the past. From chatbots to customised recommendations, algorithms form the base of everything.
What challenges will businesses using algorithms face?
It is essential to note that algorithms pose some challenges for businesses and stakeholders, primarily because algorithms work on data. The constantly expanding volume of data is also expected to throw a kink in the current system.
Here are some of the obstacles that may crop up for businesses relying on data-dependent algorithms:-
Storage: Just collecting data isn’t enough—proper measures to efficiently store the collected data must be put in place. While most companies use data lakes or warehouses to store large amounts of unstructured data, they have to ensure that these storage spaces are designed keeping in mind data security. If not, these data lakes may be reduced to a wasteland, from which data may never be retrieved again.
Security: When vast pools of data are involved, security inevitably becomes a significant concern. Data needs to encrypted and stored in secure cloud spaces, and warehouses to prevent a breach and misuse. This is often an aspect many organisations fail to prioritise.
Management: As data keeps streaming in from multiple sources, it often becomes overwhelming to manage and handle. Most organisations do not have skilled professionals who can design algorithms to segregate this data into smaller data sets, and add more meaning to them.
Although these challenges impact many companies today, hopefully, with time, the tech and business community will be able to successfully overcome these hurdles, especially given how technology is continually evolving and improving.
Proprietary algorithms add meaning to Big data, and create enormous opportunities for businesses. In the future, proprietary algorithms designed to target specific problems, will become the secret ingredient of all successful organisations. Therefore, it can be safely concluded that algorithms will likely contribute significantly to improving IoT and businesses. The key lies in understanding what algorithms will work best for your business.
Vivek Kumar is the president of consumer revenue at UpGrad, an online education platform providing industry oriented programs in collaboration with world-class institutes, including MICA, IIIT Bangalore and BITS.
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius