I don’t understand Big Data, and chances are, neither do you


  • mola2alex

    Big Data is just a buzz word created by companies trying to sell more stuff or people trying to sound smart. Data is data, different solutions solve data problems in different ways. It has somehow become more sexy to talk a big data game even though many still don’t know how it will change what they currently do. Sure there have been some advances that allow you to store cheaper and manage more effectively but at the end of the day, what you do with data doesn’t change. You mine it for useful information (data science and analytics) and insights, you process it into new data (transform it) and you leverage it inside computer algorithms (like AI and machine learning). I think the latter part is actually more exciting that just having lots of data.

    • rick

      Not sure I 100% agree with all of that. I don’t know that data is simply still just data. Its reams and reams of metadata and as you’ve noted, the technologies/intelligence (that are relatively new) that are being leveraged to analyse that.

      And it is new technology. Watson wasn’t possible unless you had bottomless pockets 15 years ago. I don’t think storage and management are driven by “big data”. As noted in this article, big data is about making that large volume of data useful. Storage and management have been driven simply by the fact we have so many more data collection points……..along with new laws and regulations to store that data for longer periods. Thats the “data is still just data” that you’re referring to in your opening remark. Big data is the analysis of that and further the new analysis of all the metadata to create something useful.

    • Unorthodox

      Just so you know – real Big Data solutions are still a privilege of ones with bottomless pockets.

    • rick

      They cost a lot, but I don’t think you need to be a large or small nation any more. You can just be a Walmart. Which is by no means chump change.

  • Chris Pehura

    Big Data is a wide umbrella of concepts that bleed into business planning, business development, brain power automation, culture alignment, data science, and management science. So when framing a strategic change program around Big Data, the definition can be different for each company and for each industry. Big Data has become a very overloaded word… so much that we need to do Big Data readiness training to get people on the same page before kicking off any Big Data programs.

  • CanoeCanada

    Big Data can perhaps be better described by the tools of the trade. Data that is large enough that it cannot be effectively stored in the “classic” data storage formats, like a relational database, but instead can best be stored in things like MongoDB; data that needs MapReduce algorithms in order to be effectively analyzed, etc. Google had to come up with its own data storage systems, it’s own file system design. As such, Big Data is a methodology for data analysis, leading to a new field of scientists (Data Science), using new tools, to pile through what would previously have been considered in insurmountable amount of bits and byes.

  • Unorthodox

    “I try to define it in terms of the value you can extract from that data,” remarked Chul Lee” that is the dumbest view of Big Data I have ever heard. That means this Lee person cannot define whether the data is big or not until he used it! That is just stupidest, most delusional waste of thought.
    mola2alex summed it up pretty well, and working since 1998 in data analysis technologies, I’ve seen these marketing “sexy” terms so many times. DSS, BI, Big Data. It is ALL the same thing – data and analysis, based on the same principles. That’s why nobody with engineering way of thinking bites these bates, only executives. And none of the executives will have a slightest idea about what it actually is.