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Tech & Data Trends to Watch in 2015

Webbmedia Group recently released their annual tech trends report. They contend that the trends they've identified will affect businesses in the coming year.

Below, we've called out the four trends that we think are most likely to affect you.

Big Data

Webbmedia says, "Data is a broad category with many stakeholders, applications and implications. For example, data on our locations our health and our individual preferences is collected and analyzed to help others predict everything from the next disease outbreak to what copy should be used in a Superbowl ad. It's also used to understand population changes, political landscapes and public sentiment."

We agree that Big Data will continue to be a trend in 2015, and that, beyond the buzz, businesses will begin to appreciate the potential in their collected data. They will want access to analytics tools in order to make important business decisions and to inform their strategic plans.

Webbmedia goes on to say, "Organizations of all sizes should begin thinking about what data makes sense to collect, analyze and interpret." They recommend that large organizations (public, private, foundations, nonprofits, universities, government agencies) create a Chief Data Officer position and bring on board someone with the unique skills to champion data initiatives, make smart decisions, collaborate on security and surface insights. We would suggest that smaller companies can make strategic use of their big data as well, and without naming a CDO.


Security is fairly high on Webmedia's list of tech trends. They point to the significant cyber attacks in 2014, and predict more sophisticated attacks to come in 2015. They highlight an increase in bounty programs, where "white hat" hackers (the good guys) are payed to hunt down vulnerabilities so they can be closed before the "black hat" hackers (the bad guys) can exploit them. They also point out mesh networks (WiFi, bluetooth) as a security option, since they obscure individual users. The other big advantage is that mesh networks can be used when the internet goes down. Their focus on Cloud security is mostly related to the media, with a mention about the Guardian's new SecureDrop system which allows submission of confidential data without tracking. We believe that reputable Cloud services will be evaluating and improving their security protocols.

Data Privacy

Most of us would agree that the public has become increasingly distrustful of the use of their personal data. WG predicts that we will see more data encryption this year, as well as increased password management and authentication. The issue is not going to go away, and, wary or not, as we continue to upload more and more of our personal information to our social media streams, photo & video sharing sites, wearable services and more, it's only going to get more complex and urgent to determine who owns the rights to our personal data. We recommend that you think before you upload and that you read privacy statements closely on any sites where you plan to put your personal info. WG also points out that we can expect to see growing demands for digital consent agreements and increased transparency. Another result of increasing demand for privacy online is the crop of private social networks planning to launch in 2015 (one to watch is MeWe).

Oversight for Algorithms

WG points out that as we use algorithms more and more to predict what else you might want to buy, or which ads to show you, or which version of a news story to show you based on whether you are waiting in line at Starbucks or sitting in front of your TV at home, we are also making more mistakes. "We are increasingly misclassifying objects, data, and...people. There are numerous stories of algorithms wrongly identifying terrorism suspects at airports. High frequency trading algorithms once nearly destroyed the stock market." It's their belief that we will see more talk about accountability systems for algorithms.

You can find the entire report from Webbmedia group here

If you've got questions or concerns about these trends as they relate to your business, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.