Big Data

Our focus this week is on BIG DATA. Yes, that ambiguous little term every vendor is using to sell their technology. Organizations todays are sitting on huge amounts data; of which they are generating more and more of it, faster and easier, every single day. They are told that they should do something with it, because everybody else is (along with blogging and tweeting). The problem is, no one has any idea where to start.

The worst place to start is to invest in technology, yet this is exactly the approach most organizations will take. Investing further in technology before you've taken the time to clearly understand what you want to achieve is a recipe for disaster; at the very least, you risk a significant waste of time and money. The best approach is to start a dialog between business and IT. Yes, that actually means talking. Provide them the forum and opportunity to educate each other about their problems and challenges so they are better equipped to recognize the possibilities technology has to offer. 

True insight into data is rarely benign. Often it will have significant impact on the organization, leading to changes in their business model. In this way, Big Data can be quite disruptive! It is critical that organizations evaluate the strategic importance of Big Data and plan accordingly. The very first step is to get the right team in place;  a collaborative group that includes business managers, IT resources, and senior executives who will champion the effort and drive the strategic vision for the organization as a whole. A wide range of skill sets will be needed; people with business and analytical capabilities; people who know the difference between Bayes and Laplace; people who can code. Most importantly, team members must have the desire to learn and contribute, know the right questions to ask, and have the ability to imagine the possibilities.  Together, they will build a roadmap, define clear objectives and outcomes, run pilot projects to validate approach, and only then look is it worthwhile exploring which technologies should be used to drive the vision forward. 

The problem of Big Data must be solved by people first.

Trending this week...
- It wouldn't be a week without a news about Bitcoin. A known vulnerability was exploited and people lost $2.7 million. That's a lot of coin.
- If you know what NTP is, make sure it is properly protected. If you don't know what NTP is, make sure your IT people do. In a nutshell, the basic parts of the Internet were not designed to be hacker proof, so now we are playing catch up to make things safe.
- More Big Data
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