Forrester recently released some research titled “Reset on Big Data” and this research highlighted the lag between IT’s understanding of Big Data’s role within the enterprise data ecosystem. In short, business leaders were 40% less likely to cite Big Data’s role as an extension to the current the current analytical environment. This is not surprising and is consistent with our (Perficient’s) observations. Big Data hype, with its own buzz words, code names like Falcon, Pig, Hive, Yarn etc. only create a perception that Big Data is its own little world.
However, Big Data is nothing new. IT organizations have been for the last fifty plus years battled to cost effectively manage the ever increasing volumes of data. Storage costs, delivery processes, data access technology, and skill sets have evolved to allow IT to provide value from ever increasing volumes of data. In the mid-90s with SMP hardware, software from major RDBMS vendors, and dimensional design techniques, we saw the data warehouse explosion. Now, with the commodity priced servers, extremely low cost per TB disk storage, and analytical skills, we are seeing the next technology explosion, Big Data. However, just like data warehousing is a part of the overall technology capability set and information infrastructure, Big Data is just the same. It is part of the overall technology information architecture and must be treated as so.
Interestingly, even though we can agree this is a rather obvious statement, most organizations that we have consulted, have not defined Big Data’s role in the overall enterprise data architecture. Has your organization defined the role of Big Data with respect to your enterprise’s overall data architecture? If, not, why?