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Big data was still big news for much of 2017, thanks in part to the accelerated growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). The proliferation of smart devices we saw being put to practical use last year – at both consumer and business level – meant we were constantly being reminded of the speed at which big data was, in layman’s terms, getting ‘bigger’.

However, another trend emerged during 2017 that runs almost counter to the above: as this site noted in a round-up of emerging trends at the end of last year, the concept of big data itself arguably ceased to be news at all. Between 2017’s constant talk of smart home products, smart customer analytics and service, smart production line hardware and smart logistics solutions, we became inured to those once-newsworthy statistics about the sheer volume of information.

Indeed, the idea of big data itself became almost mundane; most companies simply reverted to calling it ‘data’. It ceased to qualify as a buzz term.

Real-world outcomes

If increasingly widespread acceptance was a defining feature of 2017, we could expect 2018 to be about focused, real-world applications. In short, the impact of big data is set to become far more tangible over the …

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