Next time you're in your local pharmacy, take a detour to the men's shaving aisle. When you get there, scan the shelves in front of you. You'll see high-gloss packaging, lots of "Fusion" and "Turbo" and "Mach" brands. It's almost like you're in the Formula 1 pit lane, isn't it? The choice seems abundant.
It is always a good game to identify the game-changers: to reduce the complexities of history (and perhaps even the future) into simple cause and effect relationships. No more is this so than with technology, given that we like to think we are living in a technological age and thus there is always a buck to be made in either talking-up, warning of, or dismissing the impact of technology on the course of our lives and our societies.
Now I'm not a photographer but I do know, and work with, quite a few of them. A couple of weeks ago they seemed happy and well-adjusted, as content as any bunch of creative sole-traders. But last week something happened that changed all that and I suddenly started receiving lots of off-loading emails full of rage and hate. Getty Images had started giving away photographers' stock photos for free.
The best big data is the data generated as a by-product of operational, customer and supplier processes. The data that people naturally share, and are willing to, in return for a better experience or end product. And the best big data is when it becomes information that is readily analysed by business users for useful insights.
2013 was a year in which big data became a 'hot topic' for discussion and debate, reaching far beyond the usual industry journals and making the mainstream news for a number of good and bad reasons. With that in mind there has been a great deal of speculation about what trends we should expect to see in big data in 2014.