Matt Turck, Managing Director at FirstMark Capital recently did an interview with TechCrunch where he talks about the big data landscape, and where it is today, asking whether the recent obsession wit hAI is still fundamentally related to big data?

Turck says that we are currently entering the most exciting time for big data, as in 2010, only 2.5 percent of the Series A market committed to big data. However, today, the sector stands for more than 7.5 percent of total venture investments, TechCrunch writes.

FirstMark’s Managing Director explains how we can view big data’s evolution in three distinct timeframes. The years prior to the big data landscape were predominantly dominated by a smaller set of the large Internet companies, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google. Their progress gave these companies mass datasets and they had no legacy infrastructure as well as the opportunity to hire the best engineers there was.

In the second phase we witnessed the fragmentation of top technical talent apart from large Internet companies that formed their big own data startups, or “budding unicorns” as Turck refers to them in the interview. “Their lack of legacy infrastructure was key to their innovation. So they became early clients of these big data startups”, Turck said.

The third and final phase takes us to the present time which is considered the most challenging. “Many big data technologies have been embraced by a broader range of companies; however, we still have a long way to go”, Turck says.

In comparison to the “budding unicorns”, Turck explains that most companies have a legacy infrastructure, hence a lot more to lose, but to a large extent their infrastructure is sufficient, presenting the most challenging hurdle.

TechCrunch raised the question of how the big data community can convince companies to leave a legacy structure that has been fundamental to their business, in favor of other big data technologies?

Truck’s response is that it is up to the startups to prove that data allows them to be inherently smarter about their business, whilst at the same time suggesting that there must be willingness from larger companies to begin “playing with big data”.

According to Truck, AI can solely thank big data for its recent obsession and progression, even suggestiong that AI is the child of big data. “Despite the fact that the algorithms behind deep learning were created decades ago, it was not until they could be applied to mass datasets quickly and cheaply enough that their potential was reached”. Truck concluded with: “AI allows big data to deliver on its promise.”

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