Six signs that your Big Data expert, isn’t

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This is so far the best article that I have been reading about the Big Data. It is what I have been advocating to people.

1. They talk about “bigness” and “data,” rather than “new questions”

… It seems most of the tech industry is completely drunk on “Big Data.”

… most companies are spending vast amounts of money on more hardware and software yet they are getting little, if any, positive business value.

… “Big Data” is a terrible name for the revolution going on all around us. It’s not about Bigness, and it’s not about the Data. Rather, it’s about “new questions,” being facilitated by ubiquitous access to massive amounts of data.

… If all you’re doing is asking the same old questions of bigger amounts of the same old data, you’re not doing “Big Data,” you’re doing “Big Business Intelligence,” which is itself becoming an oxymoron.

2. They talk about technology, rather than business

… You may end up with the world’s largest server cluster, but other than bragging rights, who cares? START with a business issue, figure out how to better-characterize that issue with data, THEN start working on a technical solution.

3. They focus on insights, rather than actions

Most of the organizations that I work with are so focused upon analytics as an end-result they completely miss the whole point of this Big Data exercise: better actions. … If, after all of this effort, you haven’t changed how your organization acts, what your product or service does for your customers, or how you subsequently respond to the world around you, you’ve failed, utterly.

… Insight is great, but action is what brings home the bacon. If your “Big Data Expert” is focused on gaining insight rather than generating new business outcomes, you’re running a science experiment.

4. They talk about conclusions, rather than correlations

… Many of this new wave of Big Data experts don’t understand the nuance between correlation and causation. … Correlation means that there is the appearance of a relationship between things. Such relationships may indicate that certain inputs MAY lead to certain outputs. But, with correlation, there is no certainty.

… This is sort of a bummer to business people, who like to work with absolutes, or at least the appearance of absolutes. Well, there’s no such thing in data analytics. Your data may represent a vast collection of facts, but analytics and statistics are theater. What you see isn’t always what you get. Indeed, many “data scientists” are more “data manipulators,” generating politically acceptable outputs that support a given agenda.

… Correlation does not guarantee causation. Any Big Data expert who tells you they found causation should be immediately suspect until proven otherwise.

5. They talk about data quality, rather than data validity

… While data quality matters, it’s far more important to focus on data validity: Do I even have the right data to answer the questions I’m asking? … New analyses require VALID data, but determining whether or not data is clean before asking questions of it makes no sense whatsoever.

6. They sound like everyone else who is talking Big Data

… We are being drowned in all of the noise surrounding Big Data. … If your “Big Data Experts” don’t get this, then they’re not getting it. And neither are you.

Read more at Six signs that your Big Data expert, isn’t

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