Maximizing Big Data’s Value by Asking the Right Questions

Peter Evans, a senior integrated solutions consultant with Dell Inc.’s Information Management group, has a highly sensitive BS detector. It’s a faculty that Evans says he honed during his decades of service in the UK’s Royal Navy, where he worked on nuclear submarines.

Evans says he responds with a simple two-part question whenever anyone — a client, a colleague, a random attendee at an industry event — asks him about big data, which happens a lot.  “Whenever I get to the point where somebody’s asking about a big data system, I ask them: ‘What are the questions you want to use this big data system to ask? How are they different from the questions you’re asking now?'” he explains. “If you don’t understand the questions you want to ask, how can you make a decision about whether you need big data? Because your gut tells you so? Because you read somewhere — in a magazine on a plane — that you need big data?”

Author: Stephen Swoyer

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