Lately I have participated in several panels on the topic Big Data, and these discussions ended up getting some interesting insights. If we ask the definition of Big Data to 25 people in a room, we will have at least 21 or more responses. In practice Big Data means many things to many people. The concept is not yet clear, but some research is beginning to show that the subject is already entering the radar of many companies and some success stories already pop up here and there.
And most of companies surveyed feel that Big Data offers a great potential for creating competitive advantages. Another interesting fact is that only 28% of companies are developing pilot projects or have a project already in progress. In this latter case is only 6%. 47% are still studying the issue, starting to design strategies for their use, and 24% not even begun. They’re just watching the market and trying to separate the hype from reality. It really is a tsunami at sea, the coast barely noticeable, but it will get too hard, dragging established businesses and creating opportunities for other new and innovative business models.
It also draws attention to the initial projects that are led by IT, but as the concept is implemented in the organization, it becomes clear that big data is not a handful of technologies, but concepts involving technology, processes and people that enable rethink the “how” decisions made within companies. Opens a new look at the world and the company and allows us to ask new questions, before or at least we thought we could do. When the concept matures in business, sponsorhip pass IT business functions, often even sponsored by the CEO. At the moment can arise the figure of CDO or Chief Data Officer, connected directly to the CEO.
But there are barriers. Ignorance of concepts, lack of expertise and proper tools, lack of a well-designed strategy, which ultimately focusing efforts on technological level. Already got to witness a heated debate about whether the best alternative would be the Hadoop or not. And the question, “But what you want with Hadoop? What is the purpose of business” had no answer.
One aspect that has spent half a hit, mainly due to immaturity of Big Data is the issue of privacy and ethical boundaries that companies must consider before starting to collect and analyze data right and left.
These studies have shown that taking birth date, gender and postcode databases that are open and public, the researchers were able to identify 87% of people.
The indiscriminate use of social media, where simple information such as, “I’m on vacation” may increase the risk of theft of property. And always good to remember that, what we publish on the Web.. never goes away..
A recommendation during the discussions of the use of Big Data must pass these issues, involving not only the areas of IT and business but also HR, risk management and legal issues. The product should have a “guideline” of code of conduct, what is ethically acceptable in the company. It is not easy, because issues such as privacy are very fluid and things that the previous generation spread through the personal nature, the digital generation is spreading it from social media without fear.
Difficult to make predictions, but in 2013 the theme is already well palpitating and I believe that in the next 2-3 years we will see more and more cases of success when projects proof-of-concept show their value to the business. Waiting for the train leaving the station may be too late. Recommend that organizations begin to think seriously about Big Data and plan for pilot projects to validate the concept and applicability in business. After all, society generates 2.5 quintillion bytes daily and a tiny portion of it can be extremely important for a company. And of course, fiercely disputing the few professionals who truly dominate the concept and application of Big Data.
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