You are making a big (data) mistake!

by

binary-system-63526_640

Ok, I don’t expect technical accuracy from the USA Today, but I do think it’s worth reviewing an article from Chuck Raasch entitled “’Big data’ transforms our lives and lifestyles”. The article is interesting in that it talks about how large data is used in all sorts of ways that impact the average person, but what is most infuriating to someone like myself is that he both gets it right and wrong throughout the article.

What does he get right?  He interviews the right people and gets some really nice quotes. He also talks about the impact of having so much data helps from sales & marketing to research to geopolitics. Overall, he does a nice job describing the potential impacts of Big Data.

But what does he get wrong? The technology! At many points, he talks about the “micro bursts of innovation” over the last decade. He doesn’t specify what that is, but shares with us: “[This capability] … arrived because of increasingly sophisticated, and inexpensive, computer-and-sensing technologies…” In other words, he doesn’t say it specifically, but we are talking about stuff that has been around since 2000 – which excludes common approaches to handling data such as relational databases.

Big deal, you might ask. Why am I being so picky? Well, the problem is that he describes many scenarios that both rely on large data sets and many that don’t. He also doesn’t distinguish between Big Data and “big data”. The former being a new set of technologies and approaches to handling the data in completely innovative ways while the latter is just about stretching how we use older technologies to deal with larger data sets. Examples? You can’t do Facebook with “big data” – it requires “Big Data”. You can do online bible verses with “big data”, and it would be overkill to use “Big Data”. The last point is relevant since that is how he starts his entire article. Essentially, he starts confused and lets that permeate through an otherwise nicely written layman’s article.

So, I guess, bottom-line: don’t be confused about large data sets vs. the completely novel way of dealing with highly distributed, large data sets. If you believe you’ve been doing “Big Data” for more than 5 years (and you aren’t Amazon, Google, Facebook or Twitter), you are confused. That’s okay. But it’s worth taking the time to understand what Big Data really is and how you can use it to help your business.

READ MORE

Fake Case Study: Jack of all trades vs. Master of One

Fake Case Study: Jack of all trades vs. Master of One

  Listen to any earnings call or executive presentation and you will likely hear the terms “top line” and “bottom line.” These are words used to describe a business’s performance. According to Investopedia, the words are defined as follows: Top line refers to the...

read more
Your Personality Is Showing

Your Personality Is Showing

There I was, minding my own business one evening, digging into my organization's SEO performance (as one does), when I came across something interesting. Search terms related to "MBTI" — or the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel...

read more
Lessons From a Change Manager Who Hates Change

Lessons From a Change Manager Who Hates Change

Hello. My name is Monique, and I’m a change manager who hates change.   After years of receiving “consulting therapy” from various mentors, I am now able to say these words out loud and proudly. But for a long time, it felt more like an admission of guilt. I mean, who...

read more
Creativity as a Cure

Creativity as a Cure

The topic of creative solutioning has been front and center these days as we talk more and more about organizational adaptability in the face of dynamic and uncertain times. For example, I recently read about a project that got me thinking about specific priorities...

read more
Thought Ensemble, a Pariveda Company — Why Now?

Thought Ensemble, a Pariveda Company — Why Now?

Big news over here as we close out the year - we have been acquired by Pariveda, a 750-person consulting firm in 12 markets across North America! We are now “Thought Ensemble, a Pariveda Company” and I’ll be serving as the Managing Vice President continuing to lead...

read more
Thought Ensemble Joins Pariveda Solutions!

Thought Ensemble Joins Pariveda Solutions!

Dallas, December 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Pariveda, a leader specializing in solving complex technology and business problems, announces the acquisition of Thought Ensemble. With the addition of Thought Ensemble, Pariveda now provides holistic business strategy,...

read more
Thoughts on Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

Thoughts on Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

It was about a year ago that we first started hearing about Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (SB19-085) and I knew it was going to be national news. We’d just gotten past the “Rocky Mountain High” jokes, and our lovely state was trying to break new ground...

read more
Disruption Is the New Normal

Disruption Is the New Normal

By nature, disruptors are not popular. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win, then they copy you.” We have all heard some version of this quote, and we have all seen it play out in real life. We've seen it with building...

read more
What Would You Say You Do Here?

What Would You Say You Do Here?

“I deal with the … customers so the engineers don't have to! I have people skills!” That famous Office Space quote from Tom Smykowski cracks me up every single time. I know Toms. I’ve been Tom. Change the quote to say, “IT Team” instead of “engineers,” and there’s a...

read more