The Zen of Big Data

Think Big Data will always manifest the obvious? Think again.
Mar | 27 | 2013

Mar | 27 | 2013

yinYangI have very little doubt that many CXOs will dismiss Big Data because they realize that they can’t get all of the data. They are ignoring Big Data for many reasons. Perhaps most glaring: because they know that they are probably missing something, perhaps something big. They can’t be absolutely sure that they are analyzing and interpreting all of data–or the right data. So they demur.

Historically, many organizations have been able to capture every (internal) transaction, every check, and every journal entry. Small Data is like that. Remember, Small Data is largely internal to the enterprise. There’s a great deal of control and data governance involved–a great deal of proper data management.

Big Data is different.

Big Data is different. It’s mostly external to the enterprise. It is fundamentally unmanageable, at least in the traditional sense.

There’s no recipe for harnessing the power of Big Data, but the leaders of the companies that I researched in writing Too Big to Ignore understood the limits of their own internal controls. Yet they embraced Big Data anyway. They know that you can’t stop someone from writing a review, tweeting, uploading a video, slamming you on Facebook, etc. New data sources like Pinterest spring up seemingly overnight.

Simon Says

Can’t get “all” of the data? So what. Embrace Big Data anyway.


What say you?

Receive my musings, news, and rants in your inbox as soon as they publish.


Blog E Data E Big Data E The Zen of Big Data

Related Posts

The Wild Wild West of Analytics Programs

s I write these words, I'm in the midst of teaching my fourth year of analytics courses at ASU. To be sure, it feels longer than that. That's probably because, during this time, I have done more than merely fulfill my 4/4 teaching load. I wrote a...

Book Review: Wonder Boy

In 2011, I moved from NJ to Vegas. It didn't take long for me to hook up with the Vegas tech scene and the Downtown Project. Over the course of my five years in Sin City, I attended events, spoke at Zappos's HQ a few times, met plenty of smart cookies, and learned a...

Thoughts on Reaching 500 Google Scholar Citations

Introduction Back when I started writing books in 2008, I largely ignored whether academics cited my work—much less how often. In the whole scheme of things, it just didn't seem to matter at the time. This feeling continued well into 2014. Although I knew that a...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *