Svetlana Sicular (@Sve_Sic), Gartner Research Director, offers a Big Data roadmap (via rww article). One of the delightful surprises in her report is a definition of a data-driven enterprise that includes process and people:

  • Fact-based decision making
  • Treating information as an asset
  • Business people responsible for analytics and acting on outcomes
  • IT people responsible for information management and provisioning

rocket ship with data: analytics, cloud, social, mobile

She also clarifies that Big Data is not just about volume

Big data is high-volume, high-velocity and
high-variety information assets that
demand cost-effective, innovative forms of
information processing for enhanced
insight and decision making.

Structured data is still valuable. She argues most valuable, but I’m not sure about that — at least not the structured data we already have. If we can turn our so-called “content” into data and see behaviors of our customers, our visitors, even ourselves as data, those insights can dramatically change our perspective. Arguably, big data allows us to turn large, quickly changing, or complex data into small, simpler, structured information that we can act on.

I love the term “dark data” — data we already have, but aren’t looking at.

When mining big data, you’ll find unexpected
(but real) results. Don’t start a project if you’re
unwilling to deal with the findings.

The most exciting aspect of Big Data, from my perspective, is that data formats are less important, the structure of the data can be inferred later. For our most critical and urgent challenges, we don’t know the questions at the time that we start collecting data. Sicular notes that with big data, we can ask bigger questions. We can also ask different questions.

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