Rantasaurus ‘Ricky’ Wrecks

Moscow 1st May 2017

In this week’s episode of ‘Putin the Bootin…’ Big Data Gurus…! Yep! Hold this thought…

There are no Big Data gurus.


T H E R E . . . A R E . . . N O . . . B I G . . . D A T A . . . G U R U S !

Call these unscrupulous wide-boys what you like, but, in any reasonable sense, when it comes to the Big Data enchilada, the unhelpful clowns who flog fake news, vulgar hype and vain-glorious exaggeration, are not gurus, of any way, shape or form.  

Conscious, shameless and malicious falsifiers? Yes.

Egregious prevaricators, dull amateurs and fantasising buffoons? Yes.

Sellers of false hopes, unrealistic dreams and untenable outcomes? Yes.

Big Data gurus? No.

Experienced data and analytics professionals? No.

A boon to society, business and the data community? No.

Big Data liars? Yes.

I’m glad that all of that’s been cleared up, now.

If not, let’s start simple and work down.

Consider this…

The idea that simply having a web presence will significantly boost business is…?

Right. Nailed it in one. It’s bulllshit.

The idea that a web presence if all that is needed to make business, is…?

Right, it’s also bulllshit.

And, so too…

The idea that a hundred, a thousand or a million Googles, Twitters or Facebooks can bloom, is bullshit.

The idea that Big Data are for everyone, is bullshit.

The idea that a fool, with the right data, can make a great leader, is bullshit.

The idea that a clown, with the right data, can predict the future, is bullshit.

The idea that we should listen to Big Data bullshitters as reliable sources of advice? Is bullshit on bullshit steroids.

The idea that a totally data-driven business is the best business strategy… is off the gauge… on another planet… sky sport special… extra-terrestrial bullshit.

The thing is… This, that and the other social web sites protect these purveyors of snake oil – especially if they are ‘influential’. Essentially, they are part of social-medias’ witless protection programme.

Well, enough of that bullshit.

What am I Saying?

What I am saying, is this…

Big Data has a place. Honest Big Data evangelists are fine, if they are basically honest; they don’t kill the goose; and, if they don’t overegg the exaggeration. But, real Big Data bullshitters need to be called out, digitally flogged with the digital feather of the last surviving Dodo and forced to do community service on the information super-highway – supervised by Vincent ‘Vinnie’ Antonelli and Boss Hogg.

I have been in data for more than four decades. I don’t know it all. Nor do I pretend to. But, what seems to be blatantly obvious is sometimes blatantly obvious and verifiable.

What I do know is that I, and many others, have a great body of knowledge when it comes to data.

We’re not getting any younger, and being side-lined by BS is just an irritating waste of time. It’s hard enough persuading people to do the right thing, right, in the first place. For example, in Data Warehousing. Without some eejit coming along and telling the CEO that can dump their Data Warehouse is all they need is provided by Big Data, IoT, Hadoop, and Machine Learning/AI on a Cloud. That stated, even reading this piece is a relative waste of time, but, not as much as wasting 50 hours or days or weeks, trying to get value from Big Data, or blood from a stone, especially when it is clear from the outset that there is slim chance of encountering business value, and that you don’t actually have a question or two which needs answering.

Sound engineering principles are there for a reason, data engineering (perhaps the most important aspect of business-process life since the industrial revolution) as well. Data is important. But it’s not the most important thing in the world. Sometimes, the data that is not there and which you don’t know about, is far more important. Sometimes the data is just a fossilised trail of ant footprints. And just because you have a mountain of data, doesn’t mean it’s useful.

So, pusillanimous pushers of intellectual poverty, merchants of false positives and purveyors of correlation without causation… Be gone.

That’s what I am saying.

That’s all from me, Rantasaurus ‘Ricky’ Wrecks, coming to you from the Хорошие студии Стратегии (Good Strat Studios) in downtown Moscow.

Many thanks for reading.


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