Connecting Big Data to Business Processes
It's certainly one of the hottest new buzzwords in technology, yet the meaning of big data typically depends on whom you ask. Yet it's also clear that big data, an important reformulation of how we store and process our digital information, continues to make a big splash as a major IT trend of this half-decade. Certainly the market estimates are optimistic, with Deloitte recently pegging the size of the market at between $1.3-$1.5 billion this year, while IDC forecasts the industry will be whopping $16.9 billion by 2015.
But these large numbers tend to obscure the fundamental changes that currently seem to be taking place under the rubric of big data.
The first of these is the data-first ethos that's embodied by trying to tap into and process ground truth (by seeking out the best raw data) and then deriving insight from what is uncovered (domain-specific business intelligence), rather that trying to find data to support one's already-completed strategic decision making.
One of the better known examples of data-first thinking is the famous "Moneyball" story, as told in the 2003 book by Michael Lewis, relating the story of how the Oakland A's bucked tradition and switched to heavy data analysis to identify their highest performers, with considerable success. Though only one data point, this story -- and a growing list of others -- are leading many believe that data-first thinking may be the solution to many long-standing problems to help combat everything from crime and disease to pollution and poverty. It's also perhaps the key to resolving somewhat more mundane challenges in our businesses as well.
Big Data Predictions for 2012 | Collaboratory
The Social Business Index | Dachis Group
Social Business By Design | Amazon Hardcover (John Wiley & Sons, 2012)