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What’s So Big About Big Data?

The Big Data-driven (hybrid) cloud is forming overhead

It's almost a strange sounding phrase isn't it? The rise of the term "Big Data" has been popularized to describe those data sets we now juggle with in the new world of cloud computing and massively distributed databases, fueled as they are by the multiplicity of desktop and mobile devices that now interconnect with our global data mountain.

The question now is whether companies are having Big Data problems... or whether they are perhaps having Big Data problems, with Big Data.

It is widely agreed that the secret to coping with Big Data is analytics. Without analytics, Big Data is just lots of data. With analytics we can bring contextualized qualitative and quantitative meaning to our data and this means we can start to extract value from it.

Time perhaps then for a handful of home truths.

Big Data Truism #1 - "Extracting Value Breeds Sustainability"
Extracting value from the Big Data pile is a fundamental step on the path toward business sustainability.

This is not business sustainability in the green eco-aware sense of the term where a firm's operations are judged to have zero negative impact on the environment, society, or economy. Instead, this is business sustainability in the sense of a firm being able to stay ahead of the commercial curve in its market niche and exhibit agility based on data-driven intelligence that helps maximize profits. When this point is reached, the firm becomes profitable and can "sustain" that position going forward because it has analyzed and subsequently managed Big Data streams competently.

Failure to stay relevant to customers' needs through Big Data analytics when competitors are staying sharp risks market irrelevance as the industry charges ahead of you.

Big Data Truism #2 - "Strategy Counts"
A firm does not just "do" Big Data overnight like it's throwing a switch; a well-defined deployment strategy aligned to specifically demarcated quantifiable objectives is a prerequisite for Big Data analytics. To use more simple terminology, Big Data needs planning.

Big Data Truism #3 - "Cloud Is a Natural Home for Big Data"
It is important to realize that open and interoperable cloud infrastructures are critical to delivering the next generation of cloud-based services to developers, businesses and consumers. As we now gravitate toward more open service architectures straddling public, private and hybrid cloud environments, the presence of Big Data will be felt more directly as it is a natural fit for the cloud.

Big Data Truism #4 - "Examine Use Cases for Usability"
Big Data analytics is, for the most part, new. So firms can learn a lot from looking at what others have done in this space. News reports detailing extensive use of the Hadoop open source distributed computing framework, NoSQL database technology and other related technologies are an essential reading source before any size firm even takes its first steps in this technology zone.

We could continue building this list beyond a handful of course, but let's hope that this overview provides some clarity as the Big Data-driven (hybrid) cloud now forms overhead.

•   •   •

This post was first published on the Enterprise CIO Forum.

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

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