Archive | May 2013

Big Data Offers No Value

“I’ll pause for a moment so you can let this information sink in.”

From data, to information, to analytic.  We pause for a moment, to let it sink in, to discern the shapes, to see the possibilities, to find the opportunities, to assess the risks.

Big data, in and of itself, offers no value.  The value is in big data analytics:  algorithms to enable us to see the sublime, the hidden, the multivariate substrate, the fractal, the organic, the qualitative, the subliminal, the possible, the seemingly impossible.

The output at times is modern, impressionistic art, Jackson Pollock socialgraphs that resemble the endless spirals and birthed nodes, typical of emerging universes.

We discern woven patterns, sense cultural sentiment, see the future, learn from the past, and fine-tune the now.  We do it for the cause, the brand, the shareholders, the storyline, for reasons altruistic.

We seek to better correlate the elements of the mundane, while also gleaning the game changers.

It’s not just comparing apples to apples any longer; it’s apples to oranges to kumquats to rhubarb, connecting a to b to z, to green to yellow, to 2013 retail sales, to last month’s insurance claims for fractures, to bond ratings for all sovereign entities for the last 50 years,  to every Like of every Tweener, to the tweets of every Boomer, and back again to apples.

Occasionally there’s that rare “aha!”  to compel and propel us to new markets and channels, to extraordinary shifts in the accepted point of view, to brave new worlds.

Let it sink in so that we can do something meaningful: market or sell or improve something, create a better We, the next-gen They, an Us greater than the sum of the constituents.

Sometimes we do it purely for profit.

This capability requires that we plan, manage and control, the infrastructure and the analytics lifecycle: platform provisioning, data acquisition, sharing, making it easy to shop and access the mart, assuring informational integrity – semantic, syntax, and lineage – aging, sunsetting, and disposal.

The information will sink in when the organization feels confident about data quality (impeccable and timely), and platform availability (ubiquitous, persistent, and hardened), and accepts the information as an operational given, and not an anomalous and premium deliverable from Information Technology.

Here’s to the next generation of those who will solve world hunger, cure major diseases,  win elections, safeguard national security, or decide the next flavor-themes for Lunchables, using big data analytics.

This art is paid for and used under Non-Exclusive license agreement with Condé Nast.
Cartoonist: Gahan Wilson, The New Yorker Collection
The Cartoon Bank TCB-133982

© Michael C. Simonelli,, 2013