Big Data: 5 Things To Think AboutIn their 2012 publication on Big Data analytics, the editors of CIO Magazine invite us to envision a “killer app” for Big Data – the one that would mean “spectacular results” for our business. They’ve also compiled a strategic guide to get us started on the vision quest.

Adapted from the top CIO.com articles, “Strategic Guide to Big Data Analytics” covers the Big Data trends to exploit, the technical challenges that matter, and the coming talent shortage and how to deal with it.

But if you’re new the technology, what better place to start than Big Data 101 and the five things CIOs should know?

  • You will need to think about Big Data. It’s inevitable; all enterprises – even really small companies – have or will have large volumes of data. And they most likely already do, but don’t even realize it. You will need Big Data analysis to stay competitive. Think about all the data you’ve collected and dropped on the floor. Then think what you could do with it “if only.” Your competitors are thinking the same thing, don’t let them get ahead of you on the initiative.
  • Useful data can come from anywhere (and everywhere). It’s like a forgotten spice you never knew could add such flavor to your favorite dish. Big Data could be Web crawler data, social media feeds, and server logs, as well as supply chain, industrial, environmental, and surveillance sensors added to your traditional data types.
  • You will need new expertise for Big Data. When setting up for Big Data analysis, your biggest hurdle will be finding and developing the right talent. You’ll need to focus on data scientists – including statistical modelers, text mining professionals, and people who specialize in sentiment analysis. These people can be in your organization as well, look at your top talents and even some who are just passionate about numbers.
  • Big Data doesn’t require organization beforehand. When you go to reorganize your closet, what do you do first? I’d be take it all out and dump it on the floor or bed. This is the similar process you’ll follow with your Big Data dump. Unlike traditional enterprise data warehouse planning, the rule for Big Data is “collect first and think about how you will use it later.” For Big Data, the repository can be your business bed or floor – with analysis run on top of it and relationships discovered at any time. Since you might not know what you’re looking for initially, this is good news.
  • Big Data is not only about Hadoop. Big Data is more than the Hadoop data analysis platform. While Hadoop’s the most talked about Big Data technology, it’s not the only technology. Ultimately, you may go with other software.

If Big Data 101 has started you thinking, the next step is to download the full guide.