Big Data is Important… the Phrase “Big Data” Has Become Meaningless

This week an “industry leader” stood in front of a large IT conference and stated that “big data” is any data volume or data complexity that puts you out of your comfort zone. This is not helpful. It makes the definition of big data subjective and psychological. I can see the cartoon now:

Dilbert: I just loaded some new data…

Freud: How does that make you feel, Dilbert?

Industry leaders are trying to get companies to come to grips with the software, hardware, and staffing/expertise issues related to a new opportunity. The operative word is “new”.

Here is the Google Trend for the term “Big Data“:

Big Data is new… it is NOT any data that makes you feel queasy. People have been uncomfortable with data since computing began.

Big data is about the collection, storage, and analysis of the detailed data that new technology is generating.

The problem is that everyone wants to use the phrase to expound whatever thing they have to sell: every product by every vendor supports big data… and every “industry leader” with every talk needs to include the phrase in the title of their talk and repeat it as many times as possible. So every data warehouse pitch is rehashed as a big data pitch, every data governance, master data management, OLAP, data mining, everything is now big data.

Let’s stop. I Big Data for one, Big Data refuse to Big Data pander to the Big Data boost one gets from Big Data using the phrase to get Big Data attention.

I almost forgot… here is my best previous post on the topic…

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