It might be time for a reality check on what businesses are actually getting from big data. There's a lot of positivity out there, but new research shows the clear-cut value is still missing.
When we launched in November last year, it was with the express purpose of being a source of pragmatic news and insight in the world of big data -- there's enough hype without us adding to the noise. While we've done that, it seems sensible to pay heed to the overall use of big data within the enterprise -- and it doesn't make for very positive reading.
Still looking for the business value of big data
A press release last week revealed the results of a survey by Pitney Bowes Software, indicating that 80 percent of senior players in business see the delivery of value from big data as a major challenge still. That makes for stark reading, given the amount of pressure IT departments are already under to start leveraging wider data insight.
Looking to the clouds for inspiration
In my opinion, while this can be a disturbing figure, there's no need to panic and no need to change course. Think back to when the concept of the cloud had the same level of maturity as big data currently does. There was even less clarity in direction and proposed benefits. However, the proof of value came from those organizations smart enough to make early iterations work for them.
Such a thing as too much data?
Returning to the Pitney Bowes Software survey, 35 percent of those responders claimed that they had too much data and too few resources. Now this I can't accept. Certainly the resource pool might still be being built up, but the concept of "too much data" is something I expected people to complain about five years ago. With storage solutions on offer these days, there's no such thing as too much data. There is only potential not yet explored.
Re: Too much is relative I am very positive about the trend. Infrastructure as a service has a bright future and so has SaaS and eventually Data Science as a Service. It'll be an adapt or die scenario in the near future and the companies that use new paradigms will survive, grow, and scale. The general trend over history is to more specialisation. Consequently, (nearly) everyone running for a Hadoop and data science team will eventualy outsource the work to services. Not something to happen immediately but it is such a specialisation that not many companies can afford it, manage or justify it until it becomes a service and easy.
Re: Too much is relative Are you generally positive about this overall trend @Christian? Do you think organisations will overall have the abilty to adapt and scale up, or will it be an ongoing blocking point?
Too much is relative Having too much data is a function of your (incoming) data, your infrastructure, and your (team's) abilities. As such I am surprised not more people complained. Many still use relational databases on their own hardware. Scaling these kind of setups with big data is indeed problematic.
User Rank: Bit Player 1/29/2013 | 7:06:58 AM
Re: Big Data is maturing @saul I'd be happier with your guidelines, although I do think things are further on than we know.
The vast majority of the big boys in telecom / finance have some department using a form of big data tech, certainly within US operations, but, they are totally restricted to contributing anything to the community.
Agree a complete DNA shift needs to occur before they flick the Big Data switch to take over all storage / data needs. When that happens would be anyones guess!!
Important thing is it solves problems now, it will help solve more in the future and investment money is still flooding in - I'm all for a sensible adoption!!
Re: Big Data is maturing @Will - so it's pressure cooker time! Let's hope enough work was done in 2012 to lie the plans out for the next 12 months. One thing that we need to see is the cultural revolution. Startups are taking very quick advantage of big data solutions (and finding returns on it)... but the established businesses have to change their entire DNA to suit.
Re: Big Data is maturing @Legalcio, I guess that's a huge part of it... this level of questioning and dissapointment is just abother part of the maturation process - which in itself is quite a positive view.
With that increased pressure, there should be more focus on data and IT teams to produce results, and therefore hold big data up as a useful solution set.
User Rank: Blogger 1/28/2013 | 7:49:29 PM
Re: Big Data is maturing Yes, the ability to present facts and findings is important to sell big data to people not used to working with it. Big data needs to be understood as a science that can benefit virtually any type of business.
User Rank: Exabyte Executive 1/28/2013 | 11:42:31 AM
Big Data is maturing And maturing quickly, so business is now asking what is the value Big Data solutions can provide. The sexiness of Big Data now has to deliver what the hype has promised. But, I think it's clear that Big Data has a much better future than the early dot.coms. It's now up to Big Data providers to better communicate the value of the technology to people other than techies.