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Your Big Data Perspective

A couple of days ago I participated in a DMRadio panel titled “How Big Is Big? Why Big Data Comes in Various Sizes”. Prior to the show I listed my thoughts about the topic in this post titled It’s (not) just size that matters.

As with all the DMRadio segments I’ve taken part in, Hosts Eric Kavanagh and Jim Ericson did a great job of weaving together viewpoints from disparate vendors and technologies into compelling show.

The other panelists (in order of appearance on the show) including myself, were Philip Russom of TDWI, Isai Shenker of Connotate  Elif Tutuk of QlikTech. If you are interested in listening to the full show, you can access it here (registration may be required). If you just want to hear my segment and the RainStor perspective with the final roundtable, click here.

If you don’t have time, here is a summary of what was discussed:

  • Phil Russom provided some excellent statistics about data volumes and growth, mainly from a DW perspective. He said the PB club is now the defining standard whereas in the 90s people were barely pushing a TB
  • Isai Shenker of Connotate discussed the challenges of pulling together data from disparate data sources and formats
  • Elif Tutuk of QlikTech talked about analytics and visualization being “the last mile” of Big Data, meaning the delivery to the end-user is key, and the ability to ask questions you were not able to previously, vs. the questions you generally ask are the added value of Big Data

There was also a lively discussion about how Moore’s Law and lowered cost of processing and storage did not necessarily help the Big Data problem, because as Phil Russom said “A file system is not a database management system, which you need to make sense of the data through SQL.”

During the call as I was listening to each vendor presenting their points of view, naturally leaning towards what they offered from a Big Data perspective, it became obvious that the eclectic mix of technologies being discussed would be very compelling for a wide variety of audiences. However, very few would really care about all of the topics being discussed, in relation to their needs and roles around Big Data for their organization.

Hence the title of this post: Your Big Data Perspective. If you are reading this, you are no doubt primarily interested in keeping lots of data efficiently, cost-effectively and providing accessibility to meet your compliance and business goals. Products such as Connotate, QlikTech and hundreds of others may also have a place depending on your use cases and Big Data objectives. So it was very appropriate that we closed the discussion with the notion of an overarching Big Data Platform, and whether that would be or is reality today. The conclusion: one size does not fit all, and innovation and solutions to different Big Data problems come from a variety of best-of-breed technologies. So its not likely the deafening volume of Big Data marketing will go away soon, in fact it may just get louder, but it all depends on YOUR Big Data perspective.

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