ImageBig data has consistently been one of the hottest trends to dominate the business world for the past few years, in the context of both large enterprises and small- and medium-sized businesses. One of the primary reasons why it has been so loudly touted and widely adopted is its possibilities for benefiting companies' bottom lines in the best possible ways. Typically, this advantage is realized through the methods in which analytics and business intelligence are used as the foundation for sales strategies, service initiatives and other tactics for generating revenue. 

According to Gartner, one method for deriving value from big data – the monetization of personal information – has not been realized as widely as other strategies, but it will become more prevalent in the near future. Companies and BI software providers should learn more about this possibility and determine how it can inform their business practices throughout the new year. Considering the context of this information, it'll also be important to take questions of security into account.

Consumers looking to own and monetize data
In a recent blog post, Gartner's current research director Peter Sondergaard, an expert with nearly 30 years of experience in the IT sector, stated that many individuals will start to become fully cognizant of the value represented by their personal big data. As such, it naturally follows that they will want to take advantage of that value. 

For software providers, this could represent a great opportunity – vendors could perhaps work to design big data and BI programs that allow consumers to fulfill such a desire. On an overall basis, Sondergaard stated that the full impact of this likely trend remains to be seen, but that it is likely to have major reverberations and affect technology providers, industries and brokers as well as consumers. 

Where does security come in?
In a world where data breaches are alarmingly common, security has to be a concern for those dealing with big data on any level. According to InformationWeek, this is especially relevant in light of the ways in which data that was once restricted to government agencies, such as satellite and geospatial information. Similar principles and concerns can be applied to big data stores comprised of consumers' personal info, whether it's social media data or financial information. 

Fortunately, the source is optimistic about how security regarding this issue will be addressed. It predicts that encryption tools and similar methods once solely used by governments and private enterprises may be made more widely available, so that this valuable data can remain protected.