Welcome!

Apache Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Christopher Harrold, Janakiram MSV

Related Topics: @DXWorldExpo, @CloudExpo, Apache

@DXWorldExpo: 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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.