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Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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When a report on how many hours have been worked in your company over the last month takes 19 hours to run, it's reasonable to assume something has gone wrong. But how do you find the cause?

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While much focus and discussion of the so-called "Big Data revolution" has been on the data itself and the exciting new applications it is enabling -- from Google's self-driving cars through to CSIRO and University of Tasmania's better information systems for oyster farmers -- less focus has been on the underpinning technologies and the talent driving these technologies. At the heart of the Big Data movement is a range of next generation database technologies that enable data to be amassed and analysed on a scale and speed hitherto unseen.