It has been almost a week since AIIM’s infochat on Big Data. The hardest thing about conversations on Twitter is making a clear statement that is concise. Often times when I attempt to be concise I lose clarity. Case in point was my discussion on Big Data vs. data analysis/BI with Laurence Hart (CIO of AIIM). One of the things that I did not articulate well enough is that Big Data and data analysis/BI are two separate entities, but they are inexicably linked together. You can have Big Data without data analysis/BI, but the Big Data is only hype and with no value if the right questions are not asked.
Something insightful that Laurence said that I do not 100% agree with is that “Any problem I can solve in Excel on my laptop is not Big Data.” I agree that if the data can fit in excel then that means it isn’t Big Data. Equating Big Data to only the standard definition of “high volume, high variety and high velocity” is too simplistic. I like the way that Dave Jones (author of AIIM White Paper The Big Data Balancing Act: Too Much Yin and Not Enough Yang)stated in the infochat that Big Data is not new, but a combination of business, new technology and new data sources. The only other part of the statement that I disagree with viewing Big Data as the problem to be solved with a tool, but an opportunity that can be leveraged with the right tools.
I have listened to Laurence give AIIM webinars and he is a smart guy. He knows his stuff. I am glad I asked question and presented different viewpoints, because even though I may have been wrong at times, it helped me to understand Big Data better and why he is right.