Welcome!

@BigDataExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, William Schmarzo

Related Topics: @BigDataExpo, @CloudExpo, Apache

@BigDataExpo: Article

The 'Big' Fallacy of Big Data | @BigDataExpo #BigData

Why companies are luring you into the Big Data Trap

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you've been hearing about the world of Big Data nonstop. Big Data promises fortune and power to those that can wield the somewhat mystical and often nebulous power of "Big Data". Unfortunately for the rest of us mere mortals Big Data is built on an out-right lie that is both pernicious and unfortunate. It's hiding right there in plain sight in the name itself. The word, BIG.

The Fallacy of Big Data is that you have to have a lot of data for it to be relevant. The common catch phrase is: "More data = more insights". There is a nugget of truth to this in that, in some cases, a lot of data is needed in order to establish valid patterns and create real insight into the activity the data represents. More often than not however, this creates a significant challenge to those responsible for performing analytics which is sifting through a mountain of data to find the parts that actually matter. Recent studies have shown that fully 80% of data analysis is spent just tinkering with the data to get it into a usable format. So we see that more data creates a massive data curation issue, and leaves us with more work to do to even start experimenting, much less monetizing our data.

The reality of "Big Data" is that it was invented by those with no skin in the game. Analytics, open source, digital transformation, and Cloud are all of the technologies that enable comprehensive data analysis. With minimal infrastructure, commodity hardware, and free or nearly free software to store, analyze, and more importantly drive value from that data, the big infrastructure players are left out in the cold with nothing to offer. Enter "Big Data", because if you are going to try and manage petabytes of data you need good storage, and 10's of thousands of servers is awful to manage. So the Fallacy is born:

"In order to get real results from data, you cannot rely on just a little bit of it, or just the relevant data, you need every set of data imaginable. Therefore, (and here's where things get squidgy) you need to bring all that data in house (because the cloud is too expensive to store it) and you need a lot of manageable and flexible enterprise-grade gear to do it with (because free stuff is not enterprise ready)."

You can see how this is built around some nuggets of truth. I was asked recently, "how would you move a petabyte of data to Amazon cloud storage?" and I answered as truthfully as I could, "Very Slowly". Cloud does get expensive when used for a lot of infrastructure, but when used as a part of the overall solution it is an important tool. Also the thought of managing a massive Hadoop cluster of 1000 "exactly the same" servers sounds like the hell of IT in the pre-VM days, but it is also not really an accurate picture of the Hadoop landscape. The vast majority of analytics clusters top out around 50 servers and that's far more manageable (and less expensive) than huge enterprise gear. To be fair, there are organizations out there where a massive-scale, enterprise platformed approach will make sense, but the unfortunate side effect of this approach by legacy vendors is that they have made the solution itself the barrier to entry.

The problem is that now "Big Data" has made it into the vernacular and worse yet, has become synonymous with Data Analytics. Every company, organization, or even individual on earth can benefit from analyzing their relevant data for new insights. Take a very simple example; look at your budget to identify where you overspend (too many meals out for example). That is personal analytics, it does not require complex anything, and there are numerous ways to do it with free or nearly free tools. Now scale that up to the bank that wants to offer new digital, data-driven products to customers. They already have a lot of that data in house, and they already have a lot of analytical tools. Why would they need, per-se, to include every data set under the sun? They may want some more sets of data (social media to identify trends that might lead to investment opportunity), but they don't HAVE to have it stored in house to use it - it is all offered free-to-use via serialized API's. In the unique case where if they did decide to store it all in house, we are not talking about 10's of PB of data. More like adding a few 10's to 100's of TB for the data in question, because again - you don't download all of Twitter, just the stuff that is relevant to you. Also analytic data is largely transient data, meaning that it is used for the analysis and then discarded (especially true in the real-time world), so where is the need for massive infrastructure to support that initiative?

I have spoken a lot about "Big Data" and the Fallacy and trap of paying too much attention to the word BIG. Data is important to everyone and it can have value for anyone. In my most recent speaking sessions I have shown how you can do a simple social analysis for free in a matter of minutes. You don't need a massive infrastructure to make that production ready either. It just takes some willingness to see through the noise to the actual value of what the "Big Data" message is trying to say. Analytics is important and valuable for everyone. You don't have to be a Fortune 100 company to create value from the data you already have, and to bring in new data for analytics. Everyone can do it.

For more thought provoking content on Big Data and Data Analytics, click here.

Connect with  me on Twitter or LinkedIn and share your thoughts!

More Stories By Christopher Harrold

As an Agent of IT Transformation, I have over 20 years experience in the field. Started off as the IT Ops guy and followed the trends of the DevOps movement wherever I went. I want to shake up accepted ways of thinking and develop new models and designs that push the boundaries of technology and of the accepted status quo. There is no greater reward for me than seeing something that was once dismissed as "impossible" become the new normal, and I have been richly rewarded throughout my career with this result. In my last role as CTO at EMC Corporation, I was working tirelessly with a small group of engineers and product managers to build a market leading, innovative platform for data analytics. Combining best of breed storage, analytics and visualization solutions that enables the Data as a Service model for enterprise and mid sized companies globally.

@BigDataExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Mobile Create USA will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Mobile Create USA Inc. is an MVNO-based business model that uses portable communication devices and cellular-based infrastructure in the development, sales, operation and mobile communications systems incorporating GPS capabi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enroute Lab will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enroute Lab is an industrial design, research and development company of unmanned robotic vehicle system. For more information, please visit http://elab.co.jp/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Suzuki Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Suzuki Inc. is a semiconductor-related business, including sales of consuming parts, parts repair, and maintenance for semiconductor manufacturing machines, etc. It is also a health care business providing experimental research for...
Cloud-based disaster recovery is critical to any production environment and is a high priority for many enterprise organizations today. Nearly 40% of organizations have had to execute their BCDR plan due to a service disruption in the past two years. Zerto on IBM Cloud offer VMware and Microsoft customers simple, automated recovery of on-premise VMware and Microsoft workloads to IBM Cloud data centers.
Real IoT production deployments running at scale are collecting sensor data from hundreds / thousands / millions of devices. The goal is to take business-critical actions on the real-time data and find insights from stored datasets. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Walicki, Watson IoT Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud, will provide a fast-paced developer journey that follows the IoT sensor data from generation, to edge gateway, to edge analytics, to encryption, to the IBM Bluemix cloud, to Wa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nihon Micron will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nihon Micron Co., Ltd. strives for technological innovation to establish high-density, high-precision processing technology for providing printed circuit board and metal mount RFID tags used for communication devices. For more inf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SIGMA Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. uLaser flow inspection device from the Japanese top share to Global Standard! Then, make the best use of data to flip to next page. For more information, visit http://www.sigma-k.co.jp/en/.
Today traditional IT approaches leverage well-architected compute/networking domains to control what applications can access what data, and how. DevOps includes rapid application development/deployment leveraging concepts like containerization, third-party sourced applications and databases. Such applications need access to production data for its test and iteration cycles. Data Security? That sounds like a roadblock to DevOps vs. protecting the crown jewels to those in IT.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Daiya Industry specializes in orthotic support systems and assistive devices with pneumatic artificial muscles in order to contribute to an extended healthy life expectancy. For more information, please visit https://www.daiyak...
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. B2Cloud specializes in IoT devices for preventive and predictive maintenance in any kind of equipment retrieving data like Energy consumption, working time, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc.
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, paneli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp em...
What is the best strategy for selecting the right offshore company for your business? In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, will discuss the things to look for - positive and negative - in evaluating your options. He will also discuss how to maximize productivity with your offshore developers. Before you start your search, clearly understand your business needs and how that impacts software choices.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Corporation is a company developing, manufacturing and marketing high quality and wide variety of industrial computers and interface modules such as PCIs and PCI express. For more information, visit http://www.i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Keisoku Research Consultant Co. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Keisoku Research Consultant, Co. offers research and consulting in a wide range of civil engineering-related fields from information construction to preservation of cultural properties. For more information, vi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.