Big Data Series, Part Two: Identifying a good vendor.
In our last articlewe explained what Big Data is, and explored some of the potential applications it might have. As with any technology however, the buzzword wielding marketing types soon swoop in, and it becomes ever harder to tell real value from glossy veneer. Take for example, TECHX, an unknown tech start-up, who have just released a statement talking about their shiny new analytics algorithm which improves some generic capability to handle 'Big Data'. Call me sceptical, but my mind immediately asks the following;
- Who are you? Why should I trust your new algorithm?
- What does your algorithm actually do?
- What do you mean by 'Big Data'? (As we already ascertained, this term can refer to a huge variety of information, and I doubt this algorithm has been built to analyse every type of data in existence).
Bear in mind, it’s not out of the realms of possibility that said company is busy revolutionising the market – but these questions already highlight the difficulty in ascertaining what exactly the company does. If you can't tell, you probably won't care.
If, on the other hand, you find yourself reading about an air conditioning company talking about the challenges associated with handling customer records, electronic documents, research designs and system configuration data, then you’re probably looking at a more legitimate use of the term. What would be even more interested is if you yourself worked for an A/C company, and identified some of the same issues being handled by the Big Data company.
When you hear government departments or global research agencies talking about Big Data, you can probably assume that they have real, hands-on experience of what they’re talking about, but always remember that if you can't understand what the company does, you've got no way of knowing whether they could help you. When you're looking for a Big Data solution, try to keep these questions in mind;
- Does this company have experience in my industry?
- Does this company understand my issues?
- Does this company have the skills to address my issues and provide a credible solution; and can I understand it?
Big Data promises many things, and I genuinely believe the technologies in the industry to be capable of bringing huge benefits to individuals and organisations around the globe, but if you can't get solid answers to these questions - your vendor doesn't understand your requirements.
If you would like to find out more about how Big Data could help you make the most out of your current infrastructure while enabling you to open your digital horizons, do give us a call at +44 (0)203 475 7980 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other useful links: