Have you heard the latest buzz word in the business world? Big data is the talk of the town, and it's no surprise. Consumers have been pledging their undying love for data visualizations for a while now, and data is just so darn fun to mine, aggregate, analyze and visualize that it's easy to obsess over a data set all day long.
I usually don't keep track of numbers, but I realized that I had over 10,000 family members in our family tree, over 6,500 attached documents and photographs, thousands of stories and notes, over 36,000 emails, contact data for over 220 family members, and almost 400 GB of additional data. These numbers immediately led me to create a plan to manage my 'big genealogy data'.
If we have learnt anything from recent financial turmoil and the evolution of social media and public skepticism it must surely be that businesses - irrespective of their size - are no longer able to sustain an ivory tower culture, only connected to their consumers and owners, insulated from the rest of society and immune to its challenges and common practices.
How much data do you see every day? Whether it's wading through lines of numbers on spreadsheets at your office or sitting at home comparing the batting averages of England's cricket team, data has become a staple part of our daily lives. Despite this, very few of us have the tools that permit quick, effective data analysis.
People don't often think of the similarities with the business world when they think of Formula 1, and even less so do they think of big data. And yet, the three are actually very closely linked, with correct use of big data playing just as big a part in the success of a team as it can to the success of a business.
Many technology companies assume that everyone out there "speaks the same language" as they do. In the NoSQL and big data arena, there is a lot of confusion and hype. Buzz words like "unified data," "valuable insights," " horizontally scalable," and "heightened availability" have many CIOs scratching their heads in confusion trying to determine what they need in their own particular business model.
One of the many pieces of feedback you often hear from business intelligence (BI) users is that prior to using BI, they felt they were doing fine. The perception was that BI tools were an unnecessary luxury, too complicated to implement and use without hiring specialist staff. New staff hires, which just couldn't be justified based on the minimal perceived benefits BI would bring.