Big Data: It's not the size that counts!

2nd Jun 2011

Despite all of the current vendor hype around so-called ‘Big Data’, there is neither widespread agreement on what the term means nor an adequate one-size fits all approach to exploiting it properly, according to Ovum.

In its report entitled ‘Big Data’s BI and analytic redux’, the researcher pointed to the fact that the phrase had been coined to describe large amounts of information that was no longer generated only by humans but also by machines and online via tools ranging from social networks and ecommerce sites to mobile devices.

But analysts Madan Sheina and Tony Baer attested that "there’s more to Big Data than just data volume" and being able to process it quickly. Instead, if such data could be analysed properly, it also offered a potential "business opportunity" by providing deeper insights into patterns and behaviours.

To do that, however, required "knowing what to look for and mastering the techniques to extract those insights by deciphering and mapping relationships and relevance to your business environment," they said.

The problem was that "processing Big Data in an analytic environment throws up several challenges resulting from the volume, shape, speed and usage demands from that data," the report continued. Some challenges such as data integration and quality were old, while some such as data scale and processing latency were new.

Other issues related to management and governance, however. "Traditional data management techniques now have to deal with not only more data volume, but also greater types of data that is moving faster than ever before. And all of that data needs to be validated through data quality processes. This is still a work in progress by many BI vendors," the report said.

A final challenge that was often not thought about, meanwhile, related to cost, not least because "even without Big Data, BI can be an expensive endeavour".

But Ovum does not believe that these challenges will be solved "anytime soon by a single technology or approach from one vendor alone". Instead it expects organisations to continue to use a broad set of point solutions “to manage data at scale and at pace”. As a result, "this is an area where there will be considerable technology ferment over the next three years," the report said.

Replies (0)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

There are currently no replies, be the first to post a reply.