Is 2017 the Year of Being Data-Driven? 7 Areas To Watch

Next Year Looms as a Challenge for Data Managers


Just before the 2016 Presidential Election, someone gave me a sticker that read “Giant Meteor: 2016 – Just end it already.”  The sentiment perfectly captured what many people feel about this year.  Even from a data perspective, it was not a great year for showcasing facts and information as star players in decision making.

As we go into 2017 with the hope that we can once again move to facts and reason, let’s look at what lies ahead for data and information in the business world. 

Here are 7 areas to watch in 2017:

1.   Data volumes will continue to grow exponentially as “things” start to shed volumes of information about what they are doing, where they are and other noted metrics. 

Data volumes will increase to somewhere between 10 and 20 zettabytes. 

In case you don’t know what a zettabyte is, it is 1,000,000,000,000 gigabytes.  If grains of sand could be counted, we could use this metric to give us a good start.

Not only will the volume of data increase, but the velocity at which it comes our way will also grow as more information becomes real-time.  And as we are beginning to see, the variety of the data that we need to manage our day to day business transactions is also growing. 

Take financial, sales, marketing transaction data and couple it with web data from customer interactions, telemetric data from the products we sell and data from the “things” that interact in our business environment – such as meters and buildings – and suddenly you have more data than can be easily managed, leveraged or secured by ordinary means.

2.  New tools will come to market to help manage data both from a storage capability as well as from a visualization standpoint. 

Tools will continue to proliferate making it difficult for data managers to choose just the right one for your problem. 

For those in larger companies, this proliferation will be difficult to control as business units try tools from various suppliers. 

Even as you store all your music from your iPhone in a personal cloud, you are seeing companies begin to do the same with their transactional data

From a data storage perspective, we will see the rise of virtual storage capability – that means that your data can be distributed to the cloud and managed in data stores where there is existing capacity.  Into this environment you will also see tools like Docker come to the forefront in helping to consolidate datasets and manage data volumes in containers. 

3.   Privacy regulations will put pressure on data producers and processors. 

Even as we are seeing the rise in data being moved to the cloud, we are also seeing privacy and security become more important to both consumers and B2B companies. 

As corporations gear up to comply the Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandated by the European Union, they are scrambling to ensure that their data environments are secure both within their own firewalls but also with their suppliers and customers as well. 

The GDPR goes into effect in May 2018 and carries with it stiff penalties if a company is unable to comply with its regulations, one of which is the “right to be forgotten.” 

That simply means that should a person want, he can request that all instances of his online presence or descriptive information that could be used to identify him, be erased from your company’s data sources.  For most companies, that is a difficult promise to make to consumers.

Next- 2017 areas 4 through 7 to watch

Theresa Kushner
Theresa Kushner
Theresa Kushner is a self-styled data-vangelist who brings her passion for all things data into her consultancy. Having held positions in F100 companies for most of her career, she now dedicates her time to helping start-ups and small/medium businesses scale using their customer information. She applies the skills she acquired as an executive at Dell EMC, VMware, Cisco Systems and IBM to help leaders apply data governance and 21st century data management techniques to their business intelligence and advanced analytics programs. She helps companies determine whether they are ready to take advantage of advanced techniques such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic process engineering. She also helps guide companies in using more effectively for customer experience the data they collect on a daily basis. Ms. Kushner co-authored “Managing Your Business Data from Chaos to Confidence” with Maria Villar in 2009 and 2015 collaborated with Ruth P Stevens on “B2B Data-Driven Marketing: Sources, Uses, Results.” Ms. Kushner is a graduate of the University of North Texas where she received a Master of Arts in Journalism. She serves on the Advisory Boards of UNT Mayborn School of Journalism as well as

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