Big Data: Dieting In 2015

What’s the perennial favorite New Year’s resolution? You guessed it, lose weight. No wonder the diet and weight loss industry is big business at more than $60 Billion in revenues for the USA alone.

Should Big Data join the dieting hoards?

In a recent Forbes article, contributor Andrew Cave cited a Seagate Technology executive who thinks so. He is, in fact, predicting storage capacity will outstrip demand by 2016. His suggestion to remedy this? Put Big Data on a diet. The executive goes on to postulate that the entire buzz around Big Data has not resulted in demonstrable value to businesses. He goes further to say that analytics have not matured to the point where it’s possible to extra meaningful insights from Big Data.

To quote Ring Lardner, “them’s fighting words.”

In truth, this executive is not far from the mark. However there are a couple of exceptions to the perception of Big Data as less than valuable. First would be Hybrid Transaction and Analytical Processing (HTAP).

HTAP is a term coined by Gartner, Inc., a leading technology research firm, to describe the ability of a single database capable of performing both online transaction processing and real-time operational intelligence processing. It provides meaningful insights into operational data to enable decision making in real time. Cool and it’s happening now in operational databases.

Healthcare providers are also making progress in extracting value from Big Data. The Veterans Administration has developed a Big Data database for studying genetics that over 3,000 VA researchers use. Here in Boston Beth Israel Hospital has already implemented a database of over 2 million patients that provides caregivers full health records from competing institutions along with their own files.

Big Data has already moved beyond the 3 V’s description – volume, variety, velocity – and will continue to do so throughout 2015. Does it need to diet? It wouldn’t hurt because of course you can never be too rich or too thin.

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