To better understand the excitement around Big Data, there is an informative report by McKinsey Global Institute – Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity. I encourage you to read this report and there are some key call outs that showcase the potential of Big Data.
Big Data call outs!
It’s about the next wave of jobs with the main domains of Big Data being Healthcare, Public Sector, Retail, Manufacturing, and Telecommunications.
140,000-190,000 more deep analytical talent positions and 1.5 million more data-savvy managers needed to take full advantage of big data in the United States
It’s really, really big!
…nearly all sectors in the US company had at least an average of 200 terabytes of stored data per company…
Yet, the IP isn’t the technology – it’s the data!
Why do we build databases and data warehouses in the first place? We build them to understand the meaning behind the data. While that is an obvious statement, many times we forget this and focus too much on the technology as opposed to the meaning behind this data.
…it’s the data that is the intellectual property. Or more specifically, the ability to make sense of the data and understand the meaning behind it.
After all, why is Google (BigTable, GFS, MapReduce), Yahoo (Hadoop), Facebook (Cassandra) “giving away” their technology and making it free for almost anyone to use? Because by going open source, the community can all work together to make the technology better. In the process, we’re commoditizing the technology itself – because it’s the data that is the intellectual property. Or more specifically, the ability to make sense of the data and understand the meaning behind it. This is also the reason people will pay (and should pay) for some technologies because it allows them to make sense of the data easier, faster, and operationally simpler. So this is NOT a debate on open source vs. commercial packages – this is calling out a change in perspective to IT and analysts a like – it’s all about the data – and that’s the real potential of Big Data.
As “Q” said it on Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “All Good Things…”
For that one fraction of a second, you were open to options you had never considered. That is the exploration that awaits you. Not mapping stars and studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.
So for a fraction of a second, open yourself up to the possibility of Big Data, and you will realize that there is a lot more compelling unknowns for us data geeks to go solve.