10 More Powerful Facts About Big Data

10 More Powerful Facts About Big Data

Jeff Bertolucci, InformationWeek
Jun 18, 2014

I know what you Hadoop-ed last summer:

Welcome to big data facts, the sequel. When we recently posted a slideshow examining the latest trends in big data, readers responded in a big way. You want more facts and context on big data — though the term itself defies an easy definition and even makes some people groan. It’s certainly more than Hadoop, although the open source software framework with the cute elephant mascot is the dominant big data platform to date. And its meaning will only evolve as billions of Internet-enabled sensors, appliances, and other devices begin sharing data in the coming years.

How do you define big data? And what does it mean to your organization? Consider these divergent observations from industry leaders:

Scott Schlesinger, senior VP at Capgemini, December 2013: “There’s no doubt that companies’ pursuits of big data initiatives have the best intentions to improve operational decision making across the enterprise. That being said, companies shouldn’t get stuck on the term ‘big data.’ The true initiative and what they ultimately need to be concerned with is how they’re implementing better data management practices that account for the variety and complexity of the data being acquired for analysis.”

Gary Nakamura, CEO of Concurrent, December 2013: “More Hadoop projects will be swept under the rug as businesses devote major resources to their big data projects before doing their due diligence, which results in a costly, disillusioning project failure.”

Joel Young, chief technical officer of Digi International, on companies that want to implement a big data strategy — but aren’t sure why (March 2014): “It’s like, okay, let’s back up here. What is the biggest problem you have? Why do you want to collect all this data? What kind of insight are you looking for? Just saying ‘insight’ and ‘innovation’ is a wonderful thing, but first and foremost you need to focus.”

Kathy Reece, business analytics leader at IBM Global Business Services, commenting on findings from a November 2013 IBM survey: “It’s interesting that only one quarter of CEOs or COOs are the lead advocates for the use of analytic insights, even though they realize that innovation and revenue growth is the chief value of applying analytics. So we need to get more senior leadership advocating for the use of analytics.”

Chris Taylor, marketing director for TIBCO, March 2013: “There’s been a perception that if you get enough data, you can find something in it that’s meaningful. I think that’s a big mistake. The answer might be not big data at all, but small data.”

Which of these statements do you agree with? Let us know in the comments section.

Now explore our stats-filled look at big data trends and a few big questions. Which sports league is trailing the big data race? How will Internet of Things change the landscape? And is data quality getting any better? Dig in.