The cloud and appliances will drive the next wave of big data adoption, according to Ovum’s latest report, 2016 Trends to Watch: Big Data.

“The next wave of big data investment will target more of the enterprise mainstream that will have more modest IT and data science skills compared with the early adopters,” Tony Baer, principal analyst and author of the report, said in a statement.

The report notes the following trends and predictions for big data in 2016: a rising tide of IT spending will continue to lift investment in big data analytics; appliance and cloud will drive the next wave of Hadoop adoption to mainstream enterprises lacking the same depth of IT skills as early adopters; SQL still reigns supreme for big data analytics, but Spark will comprise the fastest growing set of workloads; machine learning will become a checklist item for data wrangling and predictive analytics; and early enterprise adopters of Hadoop will begin planning for data lake implementation.

The research points to the continuing strength of SQL as a key onramp for organizations in order to make sense of big data, as reflected by the growing differentiation by Hadoop providers for their own unique SQL-on-Hadoop technologies.

“Don’t count SQL out,” Baer said. “SQL-on-Hadoop remains a potent draw for Hadoop vendors who are aiming to reach the large base of enterprise SQL developers out there.”

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