Ask a dozen IT guys what Big Data is and there is a good chance that you will get 12 vaguely similar answers, but no cohesive pattern. It’s not that the core issue of Big Data isn’t easily recognized, it’s more that an accurate working vocabulary of what Big Data means to business IT has yet to be fully developed. This means that even when multiple people are actually on the same page, they may not know it. And the inability to accurately communicate needs and concepts is the absolute bane of effective IT.
This is one of the key issues that the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) is attempting to address with their Big Data Consumer Guide. The goal of the guide is to attempt to establish a common vocabulary between vendors and buyers of Big Data equipment and services.
The guide tales a broad approach to the problem, starting with building common definitions of Big Data terminology and building up to providing use cases and a laundry list of concerns that users need to address when developing their own Big Data strategies. The guide includes detailed information regarding 30 identified use cases, clearly defining each of the cases and identifying which business areas to which they are most applicable.
While not a be all and end all guide to Big Data, or a definitive reference work, the document is still an excellent starting point for users dipping their toes in the Big Data pool and well worth taking the time to peruse.