Posted by: zyxo | September 4, 2012

The Big Data Disease


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Artificial intelligence, data mining, knowledge discovery…
And now there’s a new word on the block : big data

 

This is what “they” are trying to sell us :

The first page of a google search for “big data solutions” already contains this phrases:

 

” Learn how Vestas Wind Systems use IBM big data analytics software …”

 

“Learn how Oracle helps you acquire, organize, and analyze your big data…”

 

“Unlock actionable insights from all your structured and unstructured data with the Microsoft Big Data Solution…”

 

NetApp offers Big Data Solutions that efficiently process, analyze, manage, and access data at scale…”

 

“The era for Big Data has arrived. EMC Isilon is leading the way with scale-out NASsolutions purpose-built to solve the performance, capacity, and application …”

 

Think Big Analytics is the leading professional services firm for big data and advanced analytics…”

 

 

This leads me to some questions:

  • Which part is new, which is the same as before, but with just the words “big data” added ?
  • Do we all have that much data?
  • Are we all concerned?

What has changed?

This is simple: the volume of available data in the world really has become big.  But nevertheless, all remains relative. I suppose in 5 or 10 years we will make fun of those guys who think that a handful of petabytes already represent “big data”.

 
Do we all have that much data?

I am convinced the majority of the enterprises have way below a petabyte of data in their databases. Ofcause there is always the internet where we can extract as many petabytes of data as we want.  Which means that so to speak, we all have somehow that same amount of data at our disposition.

 
Are we all concerned ?

Not really, for now. First, not each and every enterprise has that amount of analysable data in its’ databases.  And not each and every enterprise has the need to extract those amounts of data from the internet.  As long as some gigabytes or maybe some terabytes are sufficient to analyse whatever you want to analyse, why bother?
The big data hype is advocated by enterprises that sell big data solutions.  But it is not because they tell us that we need it, that we do need it or that we are ready to put it to proper use, generating an acceptable ROI.
I saw enough examples of expensive software that was just money thrown away.

Other people will certainly have other opinions on this. If you do, do not hesitate to start the discussion.

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