Thursday, October 25, 2012

Does big data mean big problems?

The subject of Big Data is currently reaching the level of hype previously reserved for Social Media, Web2.0 and the dotcom boom & bust before it. Just like these previous concepts... big data is large enough, complex enough and technical enough to bewilder a lot of 'normal' people. And like its predecessors, it is sufficiently hard enough to describe... however I like the explanation:
"Big Data is anything that doesn't fit into an Excel spread sheet"
However it is obvious that some companies are making progress with big data... whilst others, especially the consultancies, are keen to make out they have been involved with big data since before it was big news.

Of interest to me was this video posting by McKinsey, which explains how to deliver big data and the necessary analytics tools into the hands of  managers who need it.
http://www.mckinsey.com/features/advanced_analytics

However I think the challenge with all of this talk about big data is not only of defining it , but also getting started in the subject. You can talk about big data all you like, but how do you actually start making progress with analysing it and when does it actually become database administration (which has been dealing with gigabytes of data since before the dotcom bubble).
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