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6/18/2014
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Jeff Bertolucci
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10 More Powerful Facts About Big Data

How big is big data's impact? Check out part two of our fact fest on big data's trends and trials.
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I know what you Hadoop-ed last summer:

Welcome to big data facts, the sequel. When we recently posted a slideshow examining the latest trends in big data, readers responded in a big way. You want more facts and context on big data -- though the term itself defies an easy definition and even makes some people groan. It's certainly more than Hadoop, although the open source software framework with the cute elephant mascot is the dominant big data platform to date. And its meaning will only evolve as billions of Internet-enabled sensors, appliances, and other devices begin sharing data in the coming years.

How do you define big data? And what does it mean to your organization? Consider these divergent observations from industry leaders:

Scott Schlesinger, senior VP at Capgemini, December 2013: "There's no doubt that companies' pursuits of big data initiatives have the best intentions to improve operational decision making across the enterprise. That being said, companies shouldn't get stuck on the term 'big data.' The true initiative and what they ultimately need to be concerned with is how they're implementing better data management practices that account for the variety and complexity of the data being acquired for analysis."

Gary Nakamura, CEO of Concurrent, December 2013: "More Hadoop projects will be swept under the rug as businesses devote major resources to their big data projects before doing their due diligence, which results in a costly, disillusioning project failure."

Joel Young, chief technical officer of Digi International, on companies that want to implement a big data strategy -- but aren't sure why (March 2014): "It's like, okay, let's back up here. What is the biggest problem you have? Why do you want to collect all this data? What kind of insight are you looking for? Just saying 'insight' and 'innovation' is a wonderful thing, but first and foremost you need to focus."

Kathy Reece, business analytics leader at IBM Global Business Services, commenting on findings from a November 2013 IBM survey: "It's interesting that only one quarter of CEOs or COOs are the lead advocates for the use of analytic insights, even though they realize that innovation and revenue growth is the chief value of applying analytics. So we need to get more senior leadership advocating for the use of analytics."

Chris Taylor, marketing director for TIBCO, March 2013: "There's been a perception that if you get enough data, you can find something in it that's meaningful. I think that's a big mistake. The answer might be not big data at all, but small data."

Which of these statements do you agree with? Let us know in the comments section.

Now explore our stats-filled look at big data trends and a few big questions. Which sports league is trailing the big data race? How will Internet of Things change the landscape? And is data quality getting any better? Dig in.

(Image sources: InformationWeek, Microsoft, US-Analytics)

Jeff Bertolucci is a technology journalist in Los Angeles who writes mostly for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, The Saturday Evening Post, and InformationWeek. View Full Bio

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D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
6/19/2014 | 12:08:57 PM
Surprising statistic on hard drive storage share
I found the data point that 66% of enterprise data is held on hard drives to be a surprisingly low figure. I would have thought it would have been 90%, with tape and optical dying off and Flash and RAM growing quickly. If you think about it, however, that tape and optical figure is probably much larger than one would suspect because those are highly compressed archival formats. They crunch that data down as small as they can get it and then pack it in storage media built expressly for scale. I'm guessing that accounts for the outsized data share not yet managed on HDD, but I could be wrong... Comments?
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
6/19/2014 | 10:40:01 AM
The rise of more accurate data?
It's a sad reality that so much of current data is deemend inaccurate due to user entry errors, sadly a reality, especially if you talk to marketing folks who are always cleaning up customer databases.  It will be great to see if the adoption of Big Data helps to streamline the capturing process to provide more accurate, insightful data to aid organizations in making better informed decisions.  However, sometimes too much data is a bad thing, and so the ability to sort through and really determine what data is meaningful will be the real key.
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