Big Data : Beyond the hype – Part I

It has been an interesting last few weeks, to discuss and brain storm on Big Data. Broadly these conversations were around the following

  • Should I invest in Big Data for my enterprise today ?
  • Is this just an hype to pass ?
  • What are the challenges ?

Let us be honest and agree that there is hype. Forrester as Gartner agrees with that. Big Data is a buzz word today. Also, the fact is Big Data matured amongst us, in a much rapid manner that it is hard to ignore. But it does not mean that it is without merit.

Before we decide to keep it or throw it away or to get carried away by the “buzz words” or “hype”, let us look at few common situations through the eyes of different persona’s.

If you are a CIO

  • Look at the amount of information that flows in and out of your enterprise
    • Is the data management program efficient enough ?
  • Look at your analytical systems and process
    • Are they constrained by existing system’ capabilities ?
  • Look at your analytical reports
    • Are you getting ‘actionable intelligence’ ?
  • Listen to the “voice of your business”
    • Is your business analyst in need of more, to take your business to the next level ?
  • Look at the types of data (Structured, Semi-Structured, Quasi Structured, Unstructured) you manage
    • Can your systems and applications handle them all ?
  • Look at your HA (High Availability) and Fault Tolerance thresholds
    • How economic is the existing setup ?
  • Look at your existing setup
    • What could be virtualized ?
  • Look at the ROI on your systems and processes ?
    • Take a strategic view of what could be introduced (anew) or changed or tweaked in your eco-system to bring in efficiency and value-add?

If you head a Services Company

  • Listen your Customers (Clients)
    • What is their business problem ?
  • Look at your current engagements
    • Can you identify opportunities to expand the conversation based on their business problems ?
  • Look at your engagement model
    • Is it collaborative ?
  • Look at your engagement reach
    • Can you look at length and breadth of your customer’ architecture ?
  • Look at the demand ?
    • What is your supply level ?
  • Look at the maturity of your practice
    • Can you re-organize and engage them to fight the battle of tomorrow ?
  • Look at the market (external)
    • Can you attract, recruit and attract niche talent ?
  • Look at your (internal) training programs ?
    • Do the train the workforce well ?

If you head the Data Engineering Department

  • Look at existing data integration work-flow
    • How efficient are they ?
  • Look at your analytical report work-flow
    • Does your business find it useful and actionable ?
  • Look at your SLAs
    • Where is the bottleneck ?
  • Look at your existing setup, capabilities and set thresholds
    • What is the limitation ?
  • Look at your teams talent pool (talent inside)
    • Can they adopt to a change ?
  • Look at the market (talent outside)
    • Can you attract and acquire new talent and produce incremental value?

I shall address these questions in my next post.