What Can Big Data Do for You?
September 1, 2012
We all know big data has been at the top of the buzzword heap for many moons now. But how does all that hype translate into practical use? ZDNet examines the matter in “How is Big Data Faring in the Enterprise?”
Writer Dion Hinchcliffe begins by identifying three big changes he says are emerging within the big data field. First is the growth of “data-first” thinking; rather than hunting for data that supports an already formed decision, this approach strives to pull insight from the best raw data available. Next is the significant move away from the relational data model which has long held sway. Finally, Hinchcliffe writes:
“The third change is the move towards making big data a more operational component of the way organizations work and how externally-facing products function. While data scientists are often required to get the best outcomes, the results of their work are often applications or data appliances that are usable by just about anyone. Just like Google enabled the layperson to query the entire contents of the Web with a few keywords, the next generation of enterprise big data seems to be about connecting workers with the data landscape of their organizations in a way that doesn’t typically require IT wizards in white robes.”
How practical. And the fate of big data in the enterprise hinges on practicality; CFOs don’t usually like to spend a lot of money simply for hipster credibility. Hinchcliffe looks at several reports on what real businesses are, and are not, doing with this technology. For example, a recent report from Novarica shows just 15 to 20 percent of insurance companies preparing to embrace big data. See the article for more.
The word is out that this technology can provide a competitive advantage, but it seems most businesses are unsure how, or how soon, to grasp it. They need industry-specific solutions, and they need to know how these solutions will integrate with their existing business processes.
It looks like big data has some more marketing to do.
Cynthia Murrell, September 01, 2012