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Bill Bennett


Big data, stupid term

Technology evangelist Ben Kepes is right on the money when he says: “Big data is a stupid term”.

Stupid because it is ambiguous, the term could mean many things.

Stupid because it is loosely defined even within its own little world. At what point does data become big? Is there a point beyond big? Such as enormous? What do you call bigger data? Is data ever really that big in a little country?

Stupid because Big Data on its own doesn’t mean anything until it is used. Then it becomes something else, like Useful Data. Used well it might even become Information.

Kepes goes on to talk about SAP’s HANA which deals with real-time in-memory data. That’s exciting. Far more exciting.

SAP Business Suite on HANA, Because Big Data is a Stupid Term | The Diversity Blog.



3 thoughts on “Big data, stupid term

  1. To me Big Data is a dataset that is simply too large and complex to fit traditional models (and hence make that transition from mere data to useful information) The generally accepted definitive size is apparently now in the exabytes region.

    With this definition of course one companies big data is just anothers daily business. I think here in New Zealand we’ve been quick to throw around the buzzword without actually having the need for it, let alone the understanding.

    Putting the size of the dataset aside for a moment we are left with information that is derivable from analysis of a single set of related data, instead of separate smaller sets (with the same total amount of data) allowing correlations to be found that would normally be less apparent.

    But yes, it is a silly term.

    1. Sam,

      That’s a good working definition. My fear is some companies like the sound of Big Data so much they stretch its definition to fit whatever it is they are trying to sell at the moment. Is that too cynical?

  2. Nothing is ever too cynical for me Bill 🙂 I think you’re literally “on the money”

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