What is Big Data and Do I Have It?

What is Big Data and do I have it?

Not exactly sure what big data is? You’ve got plenty of company. At 5000fish we’re frequently asked “What is big data?” and “Is Yurbi a big data solution?” The truth is there’s a lot of hype surrounding big data, and even within the industry, big data’s meaning and its significance are feverishly debated.

If you want to learn more about what big data is, and isn’t, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll separate big data facts from fiction, and give you information to answer the question, “Does my company need a big data solution?”

Fact #1: Big data exists, but it’s less prolific than you think
The fact is, big data exists, but it’s less common than vendors and the media lead you to believe. In fact, our estimate is much less than 10 percent of businesses have big data. Let’s shed some light on what qualifies data as “big data.”

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What’s the definition of big data?
Gartner, a leading information technology research and advisory company, laid out one of the first well accepted description of big data using a “3Vs” model. Gartner describes big data as having not just one, but all of the following “V” characteristics:

Volume. Volume refers to the quantity of data an organization generates or wants to analyze. The term “big” in big data relates to the size or volume of data under consideration. Typically, the volume of data is so massive that traditional data processing applications can’t process it.

Variety. When it comes to big data, the term “variety” refers to the substantial diversity of data sources and the assortment of data itself (both structured and unstructured data such as emails, videos and social media).

Velocity. In this context, velocity relates to the speed at which data flows in from sources like business processes, networks and social media sites. The velocity, or flow of data, is massive and constant.

Although not an original Gartner characteristic, Veracity is commonly added as a fourth “V.” Veracity refers to the biases and abnormalities in big data which can make it challenging to analyze.

Fact #2: Big data is overhyped and badly misunderstood.
Unfortunately, in an effort to sell, sell, sell big data has been overhyped by business intelligence vendors. Capitalizing on the red-hot buzzword, vendors will lead you to believe your company not only has big data, but you’d be foolish not to use their pricey big data solution to analyze it ASAP. Don’t believe the sales pitch.

Fact #3: Data does not have to be “big” to be important.
We’re a data analytics company, but we’re the first to admit that your organization probably doesn’t have big data. Instead, you have what we refer to as “important data.” And we believe by using the right business intelligence solution, your important data can be leveraged to help streamline processes, boost profit margins and improve productivity.

Fact #4: Big data often comes with a big price tag.
If you’ve looked into some of the traditional big data solutions, like HP, IBM, SAP and even some newer entrants such as Splunk, Cloudera, and Terradata, you know they aren’t cheap. In fact, the mere mention of big data drives price to a level that’s cost prohibitive for the majority of small, medium and even large businesses.

Fact #5: Your company may benefit from a big data solution.
We’ve met with more than one decision-maker who embarked on a big data initiative without properly evaluating it- and experienced disastrous results. Not only did they spend a huge sum of money, the “solution” didn’t provide the ROI they were expecting. That said, some organizations do have big data, and for them, a big data solution may be a helpful tool.

If your company is reaching the scale of LinkedIn or Netflix, there’s a good chance you have big data, and Yurbi probably isn’t the right fit. Business intelligence tools such as Hadoop are designed specifically for big data situations and could be the solution you need.

Fact #6: A handful of innovative data analytics companies offer an alternative.
Once you cut through the hoopla of big data vendors, you’ll discover a handful of up and coming data analytics companies like 5000fish, Qlik, Tableau, and Sisense. These companies offer innovative and affordable technologies and tools to help small, medium and large business leverage their important data. And they’re powerful too. For example, Yurbi can analyze millions of rows of data in just a few seconds. So even if you have a very large repository of data, Yurbi can handle the task.

The bottom line is: If you don’t have big data, you don’t need a big data solution.

If you’d like to learn more about business intelligence tools, we invite you to explore these resources.

Click here to download “5 Mistakes Executives Make When Buying BI”

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