Microsoft have a strong track record for correctly predicting mainstream trends in computing. Just as they foresaw and cashed in on the rise of the personal computer, the graphical operating system and the Internet, they have been forecasting the growing importance of Big Data analytics for many years.
Critics may claim that innovation is not Microsoft’s strong point, but they can’t deny that packaging and selling it to the mainstream certainly is. Current CEO Satya Nadella has shown himself to be just as astute as his predecessors in this regard, steering the company in the direction of becoming a data-as-a-service infrastructure provider.
Big Data is really nothing new: data and analytics have existed for a long time and we’ve always combined them. What has changed, thanks to technology and ever-increasing connectedness, is the size and speed of the data, and the sophistication of the analytics.
However, one problem still looms large for anyone who hits on the idea of using data and analytics to solve problems. Data analytics, particularly Big Data analytics – which involves working with huge, constantly changing and highly complex datasets – is difficult.
Unless you are an accomplished statistician and computer programmer, it’s likely, if you’ve conceived a valuable application of data analytics within your business, that you’re going to need help putting it to work for you. ...