From the Editor: Tuning out the white noise of big data

Big data was a hot topic for 2011, but the real story is in its value, not its size.

'Big data' has been a leitmotiv of this year, and last. But, in 2011, there has been a strong underling theme of deriving value from it, rather than merely marvelling at its bigness.

One of's most popular stories this year was a story that contrived a duet from McKinsey and Gartner as they each sang out the business value of big data: McKinsey and Gartner: Big data means high value, not just volume.

That the data deluge offers marketing professionals new ways to understand and sell to customers has opened up territory in which to do battle with IT. Marketing analytics should be a place of tryst and trust. Instead it threatens divorce between Marketing and IT, with vendors only too pleased to seduce the former.

Mark Whitehorn, one of our experts, offers an inventory of big data technologies used to store, manage and analyse large volumes of both structured and semi-structured data. In a companion piece he reflects on the meaning of big data and goes further into the challenges it poses traditional relational databases.

Stephen Pritchard, one of our regular contributors, investigates how IT leaders are rethinking their database strategies in order to improve business agility in the context of the flood of big data. He finds that a requirement to store larger volumes of data is putting strain on some business database architectures, especially older systems that were not designed to handle large data sets. CIOs might, for example, overhaul their database estates in order to move beyond historical analysis and move to predictive analysis or real-time analytics.

I hope you find these articles to be of interest. If you would like to contact me about any aspect of data management, analytics or BI, please do so.

Meanwhile, please find below links to other recent articles on SearchDataManagementUK that you might like to explore.

Happy Christmas and a Good New Year!

Brian McKenna

Each month, editors choose recent articles and other content to highlight here for our readers. We welcome your feedback on these items and our site in general –you can contact us directly or at[email protected]

Read more on Data warehousing