Big Data and Legos

I was recently asked the question – how to explain Big Data to an 8yo. So after realizing the 4 Vs of Big Data barely make sense to non-marketing (i.e. most of us) let alone to kids – I realized that the best construct would be to use Legos.


When I was her age, the lego blocks were only squares and rectangles – I could build a lot of buildings and boxes which was great at that time (in data speak, relational databases).

Instead, Big Data is a massive amount (e.g. volume of data) of lego blocks of different shapes and sizes. With all the variety how quickly I can get more lego blocks, I can imagine new and different ways to build new toys or objects (in data speak, perform new novel analytics).

dwp lego nyc 130707

From Closer Look: United States of Lego.

With lego blocks in all shapes and sizes (e.g. variety of data) and easily ready to order more (e.g. velocity), there is no limit in to what you can build!

Excerpt from

One Comment

  1. Reblogged this on Ayad Shammout's SQL & BI Blog and commented:
    Great Analogy!

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