Best Argument: Revolution
The revolution isn't televised
In this debate, we discussed a number of scenarios where Big Data ties into more established database, Data Warehouse, BI and analysis technologies. The tie-ins are numerous indeed, which may make Big Data’s advances seem merely incremental. After all, if we can continue to use established tools, how can the change be "Big?"
But the revolution isn’t televised through these tools. It’s happening away from them.
We're taking huge amounts of data, much of it unstructured, using cheap servers and disks. And then we're on-boarding that sifted data into our traditional systems. We're answering new, bigger questions, and a lot of them. We're using data we once threw away, because storage was too expensive and processing too slow. And then we're working with it, in familiar ways -- with little re-tooling or disruption. It's empowering. It's unprecedented. And at the same time, it feels intuitive.
An evolutionary step
I find that my role is often that of a "systems archeologist.” I have learned a great deal by watching the market grow and evolve over the years. Big data is clearly an evolution rather than something entirely new and different.
Suppliers come forward with new products or services and declare that they are both unique and new. I’m often forced to rain on their parade by telling them of products from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, or 2000s that did the same thing. Often the only thing new is the platform upon which they've built their product. I see the same thing when suppliers of big data products and services take time to visit me.
Although the tools that big data suppliers are offering make the analytical process easier and allow IT analysts and non-IT analysts to sift through larger mounds of data, the analytical process is still the same.
What’s new is the sources of data, the volume of data, the different formats of that data and how fast the data is coming in -- not the basic process.
Big data is just an evolutionary step rather than something entirely new.
Big data has potential to change the game