“It’s a thin line between love and hate…”
– The Persuaders
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Let me use this occasion to confess that I am conflicted: I both love and hate the term ‘Big Data’.
I detest ‘Big Data’ for the simple reason that it has become so pervasive and so overused as to be rendered meaningless (perhaps even more so than ‘cloud computing’).
Some companies believe that if they simply sprinkle some ‘Big Data pixie dust’ on their marketing material, the skies will open, and they will be showered with new customers and new revenue.
Instead, market confusion reigns and overall vendor credibility gets a little more diluted.
So why do I love ‘Big Data’?
Like it or not, there is no better term to describe the complexities associated with managing and leveraging today’s data. So even though I wince a little every time I use the term, I struggle to clearly and succinctly communicate the set of challenges and opportunities new companies and technologies are seeking to address.
So what is ‘Big Data’?
While definitions vary, I prefer Wikipedia’s. It is not that previous technologies and solutions are incapable of handling today’s data. The problem is that managing and exploiting data with these technologies has become costly and awkward (requiring what I deem as ‘unnatural acts’ and herculean effort on the part of IT and operations).
Regardless of your definition, the sooner we accept ‘Big Data’ as fact, the more we can focus on identifying solutions and opportunities and less on the term itself.
How do you feel about ‘Big Data’?