Step up to the plate, get real with the bleeding-edge reality that we are facing, and seize the bull by the horns, as time is fast running out.

Yes, the moment of truth has arrived. It’s time to choose on which side of history we want to be on. Now is the time to make up our minds. The choices are clear. Big Data or the dark unknown?

Big Data embodies everything that is good about western civilisation, democracy and our liberal values. You are either with Big Data or you are against the light. You are either with us and Big Data or you are a callous terrorist-loving Luddite, who hates progress, hates the world and hates all those right-thinking folk who live in it. Worse than that, those who are against our Big Data have an inexplicable yet satanic aversion to the democratisation and socialisation of lovingly hand-crafted videos of playfully cute little kittens doing remarkable things with wool, slippers and other household items.

I did not want to have to mention this. But if we don’t man up with Big Data and get real, we are going to be left dead in the water! And that’s not a good place to be, Son!

I didn’t want to have to frighten people with this message, but really, there is no alternative.

Okay, as it’s you I’ll take my foot off the accelerator and ratchet the volume and intensity down a few levels.

There! Is that better?

Simply stated, I have conceptualised at length and I have come to the conclusion that there was a well overdue case to trace base with all of you good people out there, to reach out and touch you on the subject that is making everyone hot to trot. Yes, indeed, that’s none other than the foot-stomping, paradigm shifting, best-practice tiger-teaming of Big Data.


What am I hoping to get from engaging with you? Simples. It is buy-in. I want you to buy-in to my vision for Big Data, and I want you to buy-on to the notion of joining The Big Data Contrarians (joining instructions here).

Are you with me, brothers and sisters? If so, just say aye!

Aye! Let’s talk that!

She may have just thrown it over the wall, but as a gift from God herself, Big Data has come to the world to save us, SWAT team and all. Save us from ourselves. Save us from the need to commit financial crime with real money. Save us from focusing on doing tangible things that people need. Indeed, Big Data will save us from being an embarrassment to our parents, a curse on the community and a bane to our friends. It’s a classic case of loopback.

Let’s hear it for Big Data!

Yes, Sir!

Let’s hear it for the Big Data evangelists!

Big Data! Praise the Lord!

So, praise be to Big Data, and to all those who shalt sip from its ample digital chalice.

Big Data! Amen!

Across the mediatised internet, and the media pundits who fill that solution and problem space, we will find those who are courageous, able and willing enough to open up the kimono when it comes to Big Data. Only the other day I was reading a slew of envelope-pushing and silo-busting crossover-synergy articles from that influential brain-box and all-round Big Data raconteur, Bernard Marr.

So what do the best-of-breed Big-Data likes of Bessie Bighead, Bernard Marr, Daniel Burrus and Joseph Goebbels, amongst others, bring to the party?

Andrew Orlowski writing in The Register, put it this way:

“Times of change create an opportunity for Playfairs. Look around us. We have a “fluid freelance economy”. A less polite way of saying it is that there’s no shortage of blaggers and chancers and bullshitters. We’re overrun with “thinkfluencers”. This skews the debate away from reality towards the speculative and fanciful.”

What were my takeaways from that out-of-the-box experience, apart from the lamb korma, naan bread and basmati rice?

Well, I’m not about to boil the ocean or peel the onion, but there was plenty, and I’ll fill you in on the details as we move steadily along the narrative of making hay with Big Data.

At one time, my core competency was data, its architecture and its management. Now this has miraculously converged on the zeitgeist, and it has been dressed up and taken out on the town, which means that my new core competency is none other than Big Data. Oh, and smart data, which is yet another of my peripheral competencies.

What we are striving to achieve with Big Data is the avoidance of placing the miraculous discipline into any one corporate swim lane, because this would clip its wings. We learned about this from our learnings. No, we want Big Data to cross over all the swim lanes, empowering everyone in the creation of a mammoth organisational disruption of Olympic swimming pool proportions. We want Big Data to be a scalable part of our best-practice core values. First and foremost, Big Data must not only move the needle, it must be seen to have moved the needle as well, and for that to happen, we need to get all of our Big Data ducks lined up in a row. This is ensuring directional correctness, whilst avoiding the right road with the wrong direction.

Now I would like to examine aspects of Big Data, by way of elevator stories, that are essential in our daily fight to survive and thrive.

  1. Without a Big Data ecosystem all you have is a burning platform. So we definitely need to know what the ‘so what?’ is. It’s a big ask, but Big Data is up to the job. Again, without Big Data, we are dead in the water. Big Data is the best ever value proposition for getting funding, ever. Big Data is actionable. Big Data will also help us disintermediate the supply and value chains.
  2. Without world-class Big Data all you have are just moving parts. Without putting our Big Data into a Hadoop ecosphere we will lack the bandwidth to reach a satisfactory end-of-day scenario, and your value-chain will be rendered meaningless, even at 30,000 feet. Big Data is very much about eating your own dog food, end to end.
  3. Big Data is an essential part of a robust full-service organisation. Big Data allows us to target the quick wins and help us to identify the low-hanging fruits. Or for those living in northern climes, the low-hanging deep fried Mars bars and crispy pancakes.
  4. Without Big Data it’s impossible to leverage full value from the vertical digital assets or to gain immediate traction when the feet hit the ground. Big Data is the value-add, Big Data is the new paradigm-shifting optics. Big Data is the mission-critical leapfrogging of inflection points.
  5. Big Data is the ultimate robust secret-sauce in seamless drill down and repurposing. This speaks for itself, right out of the box. It’s all about the soup to nuts and the concurrent network effects.
  6. Net-net. Sum-sum. We need Big Data in order to get to the next level. Not only that but we need a helicopter view of the Big Data organisational landscape in order to be able to map out a solid way going forward, achieve mindshare and modularize and monetize all of our options.
  7. Big Data creates new windows of opportunity, and if we can capitalise and exploit the best of the Big Data best practices, we can create ourselves many win-win situations.
  8. How do we ensure going-forward that we are “Mutually elitist and completely knackered” when it comes to Big Data? Here’s the short-tip: take it to McKinsey.
  9. It is what it is. Big Data is the solution, now what’s your question? We can circle back around on this one, and we still arrive at the same places. All we really need to know at this juncture in order to close-the-loop is that Big Data is good, and those who say otherwise are evil and must be disincentivised, because they are truly not team-players.
  10. Make Big Data your centre of excellence. Better still; make it your center of excellence. Here is where you will create core competencies, componentize, disambiguate, create dialogue and achieve buy-in.

Okay! We seem to have reached a hard stop, so let’s keep that question open and take it offline in the hope of sprinkling some magic further down the line.

I’ll leave you with the immortal words of that other Big Data guru, Mister Goebbels, who famously said “Bullshit moves mountains, but only Big Data moves it to the right place…”

Many thanks for reading.

Please remember that my door is always open on this and other data, business, management and strategy issues.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject, and if you wish, connect on LinkedIn and elsewhere – my twitter account is @goodstrattweet

Please consider joining The Big Data Contrarians on LinkedIn:

As always, please share your questions, views and criticisms on this piece using the comment box below. I frequently write about strategy, organisational, leadership and information technology topics, trends and tendencies. You are more than welcome to keep up with my posts by clicking the ‘Follow’ link and perhaps even send me a LinkedIn invite. Also, feel free to connect via Twitter,Facebook and the Cambriano Energy website.

For more on this and other topics, check out my really old posts:

7 New Big Data Roles for 2015

Data Made Simple – Even ‘Big Data’

Big Data is Dead!

Why Destructive Eagerness? The Data Warehouse Example

Big Data and the Vs

Did Big Data Kill the Statistician?

Infotrends 2015: 21 Directions in Information Management

On not knowing Climate Change

Big Data Robitussin – Big Data: Read all about it!

Absolute certainty…

Mugged in Data Hell

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