The discussions on Big Data are shifting away from the tactical toward a deeper discussion about Big Data's strategic value and how organizations can really put it to work.
Although I'm sure many people still have questions about the tactical issues, it's a welcome and timely shift. That's because all the Hadoop clusters and NoSQL databases in the world will be money poorly spent unless we first think through the challenges of turning all this Big Data noise into something meaningful.
Last week, I shared some of the expert opinions I'd found on the first key question: Are you really ready for Big Data?
This week, let's look at what those in the industry say it will take to translate Big Data stores into usable, relevant information.
The people. Maybe it's my past as a PR person, but before processes, before business cases, I think it's important to choose the right people for any initiative, and Big Data is no exception. In some ways, Big Data will be easy to sell - it's hip, it's hyped, it's happening now. But the realities of Big Data - the data discipline it will require, the shift in how we think about data - these things won't come so easy.
That's why the CIO is one of the key people who needs to be on board with Big Data. And to do that, CIOs really need to rethink their role. I know CIOs have been told this before, but insights from Big Data tend to come differently than other data.
In the past, you formulated a question, built a query and checked the data. Big Data requires a bit more of an open-minded process than that. You're not going to look for specific answers, so much as you're going to hunt for insights.