Big data – problem or solution?

One particular interesting question about Big Data is: Is Big Data a problem or a solution? Here’s a video (via Inside Bigdata) by Cindy Saracco that’s clearly about the first option. Big Data is a challenge for corporations that can be characterized by the following three dimensions:

  • Sleeping data: There is a lot of data that is not currently used by corporations because of its size or performance issues with using very large data sets
  • Messy data: There is a lot of data that is unstructured or semi-structured and cannot be analyzed with regular business intelligence methods
  • Lack of imagination: There is a lot of data where it’s not clear, what exactly could be analyzed or which questions could be answered with it

On the other hand, there are people like Jeff Jonas, IBM’s Big Data Chief Scientist, who think the opposite: “Big Data is something really cool and marvellous that happens when you get enough data together.” I really like Jonas’ video series on Business Insider (see here, here and here) that explains what is so great about Big Data:

So, from the first perspective Big Data is a problem for corporations to handle large data sets and from the second perspective, it’s a fascinating puzzle that requires playing with a lot of pieces in order to spot the hidden pattern.