Last week I was asked whether there were any ‘secrets’ that companies can follow to ensure success with big data. My short answer was “Nope.” My longer answer was something along the lines of “there aren’t any secrets, just lots of work and a little bit of luck.’
Most folks don’t like to hear answers like that. Most folks want to hit the ‘easy’ button and be done with it but there’s very little in life that the easy button actually works for. That doesn’t stop people from searching for the easy button though.
In what I thought was another blog post purporting to point to the easy button, I was pleasantly surprised to read Seven secrets to big data project success over on SearchCIO this morning. While I thought the article was going to really push for the ‘easy’ button, it actually does a decent job of describing some of the things that a company can do to set themselves up for success with big data. Their seven ‘secrets’ are:
- Do start small
- Do experiment
- Do pull the trigger on Hadoop
- Do leverage dark data
- Don’t give into the R craze
- Don’t just report on the data
- Don’t think analytics will automatically be adopted
While I wouldn’t call any of these ‘secrets’, they are good reminders of things that you can do to get yourself moving in the right direction with your big data initiatives. I agree with all of the above “secrets” except for the “don’t give into the R craze” …sometimes it just makes sense to build your own analytics and visualization system, at least when you’re starting out.
While the author of the above article called them ‘secrets’, I’d suggest that they are just ‘tips’ for working within the big data world.
There’s no ‘easy’ button or ‘secret’ to success in big data. It takes hard work and listening to the data to let it tell its own story.