We round up the last week of January continuing as we began, with a selection of the finest 2012 countdowns and predictions for the year ahead. This week Dion Hinchcliffe takes a retrospective look at Big Data, Steve Hamby gets sentimental about the Semantic Web, and Adrienne Morgan gives some very useful advice on 2012 market trends with the top tip, "If your company is lean & mean, put innovation at the top of your agenda and grow with the trend in 2012 and beyond," here's how!

Each week we bring you the most thought-provoking news on how the semantic web is changing the way web users discover, interact and exchange online.

We hope you find the links useful, and if you’d like us to cover any particular aspect of the semantic web in the comments box below.


Big Data Predictions for 2012 – Enterprise Irregulars

The now-famous McKinsey report on big data last year had much to say on the topic and it’s required reading these days, including some extremely compelling case studies and examples.  But while the domains of healthcare, government, retail, manufacturing, and telecommunications have much of the industry-specific focus on big data, the one general domain where most businesses of any kind will be impacted is in social media.  This is where tools, platforms, vendors, techniques, skills, training, and much more will have to be developed and brought to bear. To be sure, a good amount of what has already been developed for the fields of analytics, data warehousing, business intelligence, databases, visualization, natural language processing, and more will be usable. But much of it won’t or has become obsolete because of the vast pools of deep data accumulating around our organizations and its unique structure. For now, 2012 will be an experimental year, a year spent preparing the fundamentals and figuring out the ways in which the pieces of the many disciplines that big data draws from will fit together. Many organizations will be trying out new ways to integrate big data ideas into their business while others will be putting the tools through their paces. But the smart organizations will be doing both, since big data is as much about process as it is about technology.  All will be learning what works and what doesn’t (for them), and seeing where the holes in their organization are for enabling the outcomes.  There’s little question that big data will be one of the biggest IT and business stories of the year, but exactly how and why is unwritten so far.

2012: The Year of the Semantic Web – Huff Post Tech

In 1996, Tim Berners-Lee, director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), defined modern Semantic Web technology. Fifteen years later, the Semantic Web is used in a variety of fields from art museums informatics to breast cancer research. Although the global implementation of the Semantic Web vision may be years from becoming a reality, many sophisticated IT departments are increasingly adopting semantic standards and migrating to semantic technology-based products to achieve the same benefits in their enterprise that the Semantic Web delivers to the Web. This technological trend will continue to penetrate industries as diverse as finance, medical devices, telecommunications, life sciences, and the intelligence community. In fact, I believe that 2012 will be the year of the Semantic Web. Here are three use cases from 2011 that illustrate the growing impact of semantic technology in commerce and culture today, and why society is migrating toward a data-driven world.

2012 Market Trends – Sparxoo

Swimming in a sea of data, the Sparxoo Agency team is taking a cue from Web 3.0 to filter the noise and offer up the Top 12 Trends for 2012. Our trend summaries feature quotes, facts, and recommended reading to spark ideas as you seek innovation and competitive advantage. Indeed, the web 3.0 drumbeat is getting louder as the social web matures. Will Facebook reach 1 billion users in 2012? With nearly 1,000 apps submitted per day just for IOS, mobile has arrived and is ready to take center stage. We note Facebook’s recent acquisition of Foursquare competitor Gowalla. Companies must evolve to stand out in this increasingly digital world. From engaging ad campaigns to exclusive access such as Gilt sales on Facebook, companies are becoming clever to stand out from the crowd. In the spirit of standing out, our Seeing is Believing Trend is based on the increasing importance of photos and video in communications. Don’t just rely on the written word! Onto macro trends, we are all aware of the obesity issue in the US. With one out of three adults being obese, the rising trend of the Super Healthy gives hope that consumers will pro-actively manage their health. Finally, we cover macro trends that continue to stay in the forefront, including the Great Wall of China and the Green Revolution. If your company is lean & mean, put innovation at the top of your agenda and grow with the trend in 2012 and beyond.

CloudCamp London: the Big Data Special – Sys.con

The CloudCamp un-conference returned to London for the 14th time this evening, regaling a capacity crowd in the Crypt below Clerkenwell’s St James Church with several hours of discussion and debate on the somewhat elusive topic of ‘Big Data’.