Do you really have a Big Data problem? Frankly, for most data needs, the answer is no. You may have a lot of data, but in terms of what the industry’s been pitching as Big Data, I wouldn’t worry. There are many more pressing problems for data management and integration. However, if you’re looking for a more elaborate answer, keep reading to find out what all the buzz is about.
David Pavlis, president of CloverETL, tackles these questions and more in his latest white paper, helping businesses cope in a world of big data, big claims, and real business.
Big Data – A Reality or a Buzzword?
I tend to address Big Data as too “big” a term, mostly because it’s so loosely defined, you can really hide anything under it. But, we have to start somewhere. Let’s take a look at what Wikipedia says about Big Data: “Datasets that grow so large that they become awkward to work with using on-hand database management tools. Difficulties include capture, storage, search, sharing, analytics, and visualizing.” That’s a pretty broad definition, but it really doesn’t help identify whether a company has the “Big Data problem” that’s been causing a major stir in the data world lately.
History tends to repeat itself. I remember when I started my IT career, Data Warehousing was the hot topic. Let’s look at definition of a Data Warehouse: “Data warehouses are large database systems (often measured in gigabytes or terabytes) containing detailed company data on sales transactions which are analyzed to assist in improving the marketing and financial performance of companies.”
However, there’s one big change today from the situation ten years ago. Now I can use robust-enough technology that’s much cheaper and won’t break the bank. What used to be available only to big, wealthy corporations is now affordable for SMEs. And these technologies are still capable of handling terabytes of data or millions of records. Sounds a lot like “Big Data,” doesn’t it?
Big Data is more a marketing-generated trend than an imminent reality. Enterprises, especially SMEs, usually have more important problems to deal with than how to store petabytes of data and scan them for some precious piece of knowledge. Because honestly, that piece of knowledge comes at high price. A company can often glean more from internal company data at a better value – there’s less of it to be analyzed, and often more to see, if done right. If you are a medium, or even a small, company, the chance that you internally run many different information systems containing important data to be brought together and analyzed is high. The IT systems fragmentation in your organization is natural, a result of the evolution of your company. There are solutions like CloverETL that can help you – and they’re not as expensive as you may think.
David Pavlis, President of CloverETL and the creator of the first version of CloverETL in 2002, has more than 15 years of professional experience in data management and business intelligence.