Big Data, Data Science, Featured

Big Data isn’t the answer

I’m a fan of data.

I love using data to solve problems and find answers. I love combining context and data to help organizations find identify issues and find solutions. I love seeing organizations using data to make decisions and manage their business and even more, I love seeing organizations searching for new ways to use data and Big Data principles and technologies to drive value and competitive advantage.

Over the past few years, Big Data has come onto the scene in a big way. Everyone is talking about how they are ‘doing’ Big Data. I often hear people throwing around Big Data as the solution to any problem that needs to be solved. The problem with that – Big Data isn’t the answer.

Big Data is technologies and processes to find answers.  Big data is useless without the ability to analyze and use it.  Big Data isn’t the answer…its just a step in the process of finding answers.

There are many vendors and consultants out there pushing Big Data as the answer without ensuring people understand what it really means to ‘do’ Big Data. When I hear these people / vendors talking, all I hear is someone trying to sell something rather than help their client solve a problem.  All I hear is someone highlighting the ‘good’ without talking about the any of the challenges of Big Data.

Many times, I feel like I’m listening to a used car salesman trying to sell me a car.  The salesperson tells me what a great car it is and how I can depend on it but he ‘forgets’ to tell me that I’ll need to spend 5 hours a week fixing it to keep it running.

Big Data isn’t the answer. It’s part of the process to find answers…but it isn’t the answer.

Don’t be the used car salesperson of Big Data.


Screenshot at 2013-07-31 07:27:18


About Eric D. Brown, D.Sc.

Eric D. Brown, D.Sc. is a data scientist, technology consultant and entrepreneur with an interest in using data and technology to solve problems. When not building cool things, Eric can be found outside with his camera(s) taking photographs of landscapes, nature and wildlife.
View all posts by Eric D. Brown, D.Sc. →
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