It seems like everywhere you look now people are touting the unlimited possibilities of “Big Data.” I consider it IT’s big buzzword of 2012. All of this hype reminds me of when “the cloud” was the cool thing. Much like the cloud, while the sky may be the limit for big data, there are a host of issues that must first be addressed.
1. Not enough workers- with all of this information coming in there’s a need for workers skilled at handling huge volumes of data. Companies want someone who can make sense of the data and apply some kind of predictive analysis. Unfortunately, those types of individuals seem to be in short supply.
2. Too many assumptions- organizations tend to assume that more data means more insight and more insight equals more action. This is simply not the case. Data is just data. You need visualization tools for instance to put that data into context. At the same time, you need to have an idea of what you’re looking for as you’re sorting through all of this data. There are trends to be found everywhere but you need to find the kind of insight that will transform the business. A lot of times that means asking the right questions.
3. Data storage & organization- while the concept of “Big Data” is centered on having loads of data, that’s not necessarily a good thing. There is a lot of useless data that you shouldn’t be collecting and storing in your enterprise. Storing everything shouldn’t even be an option. Once you decide on what info should be gathered, there should be some strategy in place for centralizing that info. Usually companies have data coming in from all kinds of different departments and sources. In order to reap the rewards of big data, you’ve got to find a way to bring that separate streams together.
4. Privacy & Security- storing and essentially pillaging these copious amounts of data has led to compliance concerns for many enterprises. The healthcare industry for example must fall in-line with HIPAA/HITECH. Many laws have yet to address the unique challenges of data warehousing so CISO’s can breathe a brief sigh of relief. Social media is another example of applications collecting loads of unregulated, private data. While this may not be a compliance concern YET, there are certainly some security issues to consider.
IMF members interested in Big Data should register and participate in our Connect coming up in July. It will focus on “Data Architecture for Big Data Strategy.” This is a great opportunity for peer discussion about any issues and best practices related to the subject.
Big Data Could Create Compliance Issues (Dark Reading)
Big Data technology a solution in search of right problems (Tech Target- Video)
3 Big Data Myths for Enterprises (Amaresh Tripathy’s Blog on Information & Decisions)