At this point we all seem to know that the promise of Big Data is tremendously exciting with its three V's of volume, velocity, and variety. We know we should be "doing it", even though we might not be sure where to start. We want to keep up with our competitors and extract the value that we know is locked inside our data. We believe--but we haven't done anything about it yet, have we?
The problem lies in the marketing of Big Data and the assumption that Big Data mandates a new way of thinking that is a step change from where we have been. This is not a step change, we are simply allowing ourselves to get distracted from our desired destination.
What is more important than Big Data is insight. Great volumes and varieties of data do next to nothing on their own. We need the context to turn the data into an asset that can drive better understanding. Insight depends on the ability to tell the difference between the signal and the noise within the context of the system. A new insight can allow us to test conventional wisdom or test a new connection.
More important than big data or insight is a small action. Data combined with context can become information that can lead to insight, but the value can only be realized when action is taken. Even if it is a small action.
The good news is we have been in the extraction and action game for many years. We have been building algorithms to better understand and explain the world around us for centuries. Our brains are the original big data engine. We know that context can increase when we integrate more data sources, more inputs, and more test trials to drive deeper insights to take an even more appropriate action.
We can advance our thinking, planning, and execution of big data related efforts when we shift our focus to insights and action instead of the distraction of the data itself, its size, or the transient limitations of our current infrastructure.
What are your thoughts, insights, and actions on this Big Data challenge? Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome your feedback.