Lies, damn lies and Big Data

    By: Mr. Adrian Bridgwater on Apr 01, 2012

    Sybase CTO Irfan Khan has been blogging on Forbes (dot com) over this past month on the subject of Big Data. Khan has been at pains to talk down much of the panic that appears to have ensued around the subject of Big Data itself and allay a few fears while he’s at it.

    NOTE: Big Data is defined by website SearchCloudComputing as follows:

    Big Data is a general term used to describe the voluminous amount of unstructured and semi-structured data a company creates -- data that would take too much time and cost too much money to load into a relational database for analysis. Although Big Data doesn't refer to any specific quantity, the term is often used when speaking about petabytes and exabytes of data.

    It’s big then, really big -- but should we be worried about it?

    Khan suggests that there has been a fair degree of scaremongering and it’s almost like an urban myth run rampant. He suggest that despite predictions of imminent doom brought about by new data deluges, the computer industry has been able to unswervingly triumph by improving our computing infrastructures.

    “By using columnar-based analytics infrastructure today, organizations can ignore the handwringing over Big Data and, instead, embrace it for the benefit of their operations. Massive data sets, even those including variable data types like unstructured data, can be ready for analysis in a columnar-based data warehouse. Not only are they ready, they are able to perform faster and readily scale to include as many users and as much data as is necessary to get the job done,” writes Sybase’s Khan.

    Given the rise of Big Data -- are we about to see a new role emerge in the workplace i.e. "Chief Data Officer"… Khan thinks that we are and he advocates appointing one or creating the position itself if it does not exist. He also says that it is important to work with business users to determine the context of the data and establish the relationships among the multiple data sets being used while keeping in mind data growth rates and duplicate sources.

    According to Khan, “The analytics industry today has no excuses when it comes to working with Big Data. It has no excuses when it comes to scaling their analytics data warehouse to include thousands of users. It has no excuses when it comes to applying analytics to variable data types from every imaginable source, including, for example, the vast unstructured information from social media sites. Let’s face it, the analytics industry can no longer hide behind the Big Data boogeyman because we know it’s just a myth.”

    You can read the original piece in full here.



    Released: April 1, 2012, 12:10 pm | Updated: March 22, 2014, 6:49 pm
    Keywords: Opinion News | Big Data




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