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Big Data is all pervasive, all seeing and all knowing.

Everyone is doing Big Data, and if they aren’t then they will.  It’s inevitable.

Big Data will revolutionise the worlds of data, decision making and business.

Am I right, or am I right?

Over the last few months I have carried out a series of experiments designed to gauge the pervasive nature and unparalleled benefits being accrued from buying into the Big Data revolution.

On the 23rd of September, we launched the Big Data Contrarian’s Challenge, billed as “destined to fast become the most prestigious, enviable and prized challenge on the entire global world-wide-web.” The winner of the competition would be what was judged to be the best Big Data success story submitted.

The competition was open to everyone. Competitors were asked to simply meet a set of ‘success story’ criteria. These were:

  • To provide details of the data used to create new insight and understanding.
  • To explain how the Big Data was sourced, treated and stored.
  • To share experiences of how the resulting data was queried,
  • To explain the results of the queries, in technical and business terms.
  • To include the normalisation of the results that took place.
  • To detail how those results led to business insight.
  • That the Big Data success stories submitted must involve the use of Hadoop (HDFS and MapReduce), MapR, Cloudera, etc. Primarily projects from the Hadoop ecosphere such as Scala, Pig and Spark. Or the use of other technologies such as Lustre and GPFS.

Result? Not one submission received was coherent, verifiable nor detailed enough to meet the established criteria. As a result, no winner of the Big Data Contrarians Challenge for 2015. Quite surprising for a revolution that is taking the global business, media and IT communities by storm.

But, undeterred we continued with some more experimentation.

Now much has been made about how Big Data has revolutionised the Social Media ecosphere. Indeed, there are some examples of how some companies pay close attention to the social media content and to effectively respond to content of interest. Prime example of that is the aeronautical flag-carrier of the Netherlands, KLM.

We tested KLM’s social media maturity, and they passed with flying colours.

So, the next step was this.

We asked the top service and technology players in Big Data how they used Big Data technology to monitor, manage and respond to content on social media that might be of interest.

Now, remember that KLM always respond to reasonable content and request posted on Social Media, something that Virgin also do, although we have less experience with that business.

What response did we get from the big Big Data players, the very players who bang on about the importance of Big Data, especially in areas such as social media?

Not a word. A total massive fail.

We reached out to the titans of Big Data across distinct channels of social media, in quite noticeable yet simple ways, as we had done for KLM and Virgin. Yet replies, there came none.

So, it turns out that the appetite of the Big Data technology and service leaders does not actually extend to eating their own analytics dog food. Quelle surprise.

Every year I ask myself the same question. Will there be any tangible, coherent and verifiable Big Data success stories in the coming year? Every year I come up with nothing. Nothing at all. “Sorry, no rooms at the Big Data Success Inn, as we are closed for vacations. Now run along!” My complaints of “But, you said you were open for business!” always fall on deaf ears.

Now. my favourite sport is football, proper football that clubs like Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Dortmund play.

If Big Data was a football club, its fans would be talking the talk, badly, whilst their players, who were never supposed to play football in the first place, failed unsurprisingly to walk the walk.

If Big Data was a football club it’s President, manager and coach, and the rest of the staff, would be the champions of “what-ifs, maybes and what might have beens”.

In fact, if Big Data was a football club, it would be a huge vanity project, high up on the scale of Homeric scale of vanity projects, and would be seen for what it would be. An exercise in the self-indulgence of a football-mad tycoon with more dollars than sense and little knowledge of the game, its history, culture or its rules.

If Big Data was a football club, none of its matches would be televised, and all their games would be covered by a non-disclosure agreement.

Indeed, If Big Data was a football club, they would never be allowed to play in any professional football league worth shaking a stick at.

You see, when it comes to delivering the goods, the Big Data community just doesn’t cut the mustard.

So, this is for you people who can talk a good Big Data game, but can’t put up.

And it’s all gone quiet over there!

And it’s all gone quiet over there!

And it’s all gone quiet!

All gone quiet!

All gone quiet over there!

Many thanks for reading, and don’t forget to join the best Big Data community on LinkedIn.

Here’s the link: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8338976

You may also like to check out my blog: http://www.goodstrat.com

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