Here are some exciting numbers.
ELearning market expected to be $51.5 billion by the end of 2016 with an estimated five-year CAGR of 7.6%. (ELearning Market Trends & Forecast 2014-2016 Report, Docebo.)
The Internet of Things (IoT) will connect 6.4 billion â€œthingsâ€ to the Internet in 2016. (Gartner Report. This will be a 30% increase from 2015.)
These numbers point to an imminent superabundance of data, unlike what we have seen before. SpringPeople believes we are set for a Big Data revolution. Big Data has already been touted as one of the biggest trends for 2016. The advancements in Big Data are making effective strides in furthering strategic, business and financial goals for businesses worldwide. As per a SNS research, investments in Big Data are expected to grow at a CAGR of 14 % over the next five years, making Big Data a precious commodity.
For the uninitiated, in the eLearning context, Big Data refers to gathering data around learning behavior, learner progress, interactivity and everything else that is learner specific while they are accessing the learning modules. This information is a storehouse of valuable information once processed and has the potential to shape the future of eLearning marketing and offerings. However, this Big Data revolution will only be an effective game changer for eLearning and other businesses when supported by predictive analytics. Therefore, the market for the same will expand as well.
The future of Big Data in the context of eLearning presents some crucial challenges and SpringPeople reviews those with solutions supported by the eLearning industry.
Skills Gap – eLearning to the Rescue: The need for Data Scientists will be unprecedented. There is already an acute shortage of Data Scientists globally, as per a McKinsey Study. The demand for Data Scientists is projected to exceed supply by more than 50 percent by 2018. The United States alone will generate over 490,000 jobs in the field by 2018 but there will be less than 200,000 experts to take them on, thereby creating strenuous circumstances for the existing workforce and businesses.
Clearly, more troops need to be trained, in time, to handle the above. While it will be impractical to assume that Universities can churn out sufficient gradates to cover the skills shortage, eLearning can and will definitely play an effective facilitator to reduce the gap. Courses on Data Sciences such as those offered by SpringPeople can contribute towards preparing a Data Science workforce. These courses are module based and for someone who already works with Data in any capacity this can be an easy graduation to massive data processing.
More Innovation: To match the demand for Big Data, the IT industry will need to get innovative with IT infrastructure to simplify Big Data management for non-IT professionals. This is not to make Data Analysts and Scientists redundant in the future but to provide the much needed support to match demand in the field. Cisco is already moving towards this by training all employees in basics of Data Sciences so as to enable them to be efficient Data Managers. There will be many such opportunities in the future. ELearning will be able to provide the training needed to prepare creators of the framework.
Predictive Analytics: This refers to data mining that generates skilled and calculated forecasts of trends and possibilities. Besides predicting trends, Predictive Analytics can help understand user behavior, improve business performance and drive strategic decisions. The Big Data revolution will need this to sustain itself by digging deep into complex, structured data to produce information that has potency and utility. With the IoT, a mix of data type will evolve and that will require technologies like Apache Spark and Hadoop that run across multiple machines, varied industries without sharing memory or disk space. However, the industry needs more such exemplary software applications to support the demand that will be. If teams need to be pushed to do more, you need to train them as well. ELearning is the most viable option in terms of ease of access, speed and cost.
Clearly, the growth of Big Data presents amazing opportunities for advancing the eLearning industry. But, in order for Big Data and Predictive Analytics to offer puissance to business models, eLearning will need to play an aggressively active role in preparing the world for a Big Data future, creating a perfect symbiotic relationship; one must sustain the other.
SpringPeople already partners with some leading innovators in the field of Data Processing and Analytics like HortonWorks, EMC & Pivotal and delivers trainings using their courses, among others. Here is our Training Calendar if you are looking to train your team in Data Sciences.