Big Data or Fast Data – Does Big Really Matter?

After years of hype about big data this question remains: Does big data really matter? A recent article – Study reveals that most companies are failing at big data – raises further questions. A recurring theme that I see at conferences – Strata, Enterprise Data World, TDWI, etc. – is many people and many organizations seeking the key that will unlock the magic of big data.

Perhaps I’m a skeptic, but I doubt that the key can be found. I’m not convinced that magic can be derived from bigness of data. Big data is often described as having three distinguishing characteristics (the 3 V’s) of volume, variety, and velocity. But we give most of the attention to volume, as if the size of the data is the predominant characteristic. I think that is a confused perspective. The magic of data depends entirely on a 4th V – value – that has little to do with the size of the data and much to do with ability to gain insight and drive innovation.

Author: Dave Wells


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