5 tips to get started with big data
Learn what it is, and what it is not. While we are all comfortable with the concept of data, why the emphasis on “big” data now? The world of data has changed. The speed at which data is produced and often is required to be consumed is nearly at the speed of thought. With data from sensors, geo-spatial tracked data and the discourse of human conversation being captured in social media today, our heads are left spinning with the amount of data being collected. And this is not just facts about dollars and cents or counts of activity. These are complex data points, often verbose text data that must be interpreted to identify the relevant meanings to your business. Big data simply means that you have a lot of data, and it is quite complex to use.
Get with the program. Organizations can no longer stick their collective heads in the sand about the amount of data they must handle.
Find the right people. Notice people come before tools. Data analysis tools are often touted as the “magic solution” to big data. While they will help you get there, you must have the right people that understand business strategy and data analysis (including statistical analysis, business modeling, and data mining).
Find the right tools. The centralized IT group cannot keep up with the business’s demands for data and analytics. Self-service BI and analytics is the name of the game here. You want tools with features such as in-memory analytics that provide high-powered analysis on desktop-sized machines that your analysts can use.
Be an IT-hugger. So often, once the business users and analysts get their hands on high-powered tools, they decide that IT is no longer needed. This could not be further from the truth. Often, IT has developed complex solutions to integrating data from large and diverse systems, providing standard methods for retrieving the data you need. In addition, IT is trained to plan for critical elements of your environment such as security and scalability. Figure out what the business needs, develop solid business rules around these requirements and learn from IT all you can.