Do I Care About Big Data?

Big Data seems to be everywhere lately. I started reading about it a couple of years ago. Now it’s in everything, it’s everywhere. I’m inundated with big data: raw, unstructured, semi-structured, structure…the volume, variety, and velocity (ha! See what I did there?). All of this big data is starting to wear on me. Now, with that being said, I love gadgets. And the thought of Microsoft building a slick point and click front end to Hadoop just gets me excited. I have this constant battle going on at my desk. of focusing on the metrics that matter to me and my business and finding the newest latest shiny toy to play with.

Sales people are always trying to convince me that I “need to track my data.” Or one of my favorites, “Did you know there was more data created last year than all of the history of human-kind up to 2010?” These are just a few of the things I get sold on, but I need to focus on key metrics. I know what data points matter to me, heck I’m good at running my business, right? So finally I had a moment of clarity and I got the cahone-ays to ask the next sales person that called, “How does your Big Dada Shiny Toy help me better understand my key metrics and key days?” After some attempted redirection and restatement of my question by the sales person, we got to the crux of the pitch. And it didn’t include anything that had to do with me making better decisions.

Do I care about Big Data? Yes, but only as much as I care about reporting, data warehousing, and business intelligence. The only data I need to focus on is that which is key to moving my business forward. And I know what those metrics are. So, pay attention, keep an eye on the horizon for the shine of the next great tool, but know them for what they are and only focus on the metrics that matter to you.

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