Is big data overblown?

Everyone knows that thanks to inexpensive storage, there’s no need to throw any data away. And organizations are collecting a lot of it from a wide variety of sources.

But big data analysis may be overblown, says David Quirke, CEO of Irish-based consulting firm DNM Technology.

As I wrote Tuesday, DNM is about to open a Toronto office. At a lunch yesterday at a tony restaurant 54 floors above the city, Quirke and two company officials talked about their approach to solving problems.

At one point he said something about big data that is worth pondering. Big data, he declared, is a phrase that has been banned from DNM. Organizations should first look at what they’re pulling in and whether it’s in good shape for helping make decisions.

Later I asked him to expand.

“We’re seeing a lot of the vendors pushing the big data agenda,” he said, but for selling software and storage.

In some cases when organizations ask about analyzing big amounts of data, they’re thinking of data from what he calls external social media – Twitter, Facebook and the like. But, Quirke says, organizations should ask if they get a good return on investment from it.

“When we look at their internal operations and financial systems we find there’s more value by doing work there (because) the data may not be in a clean state – it’s old, its inconsistent, they have acquired companies that have a different definition of X, Y, Z and they’re trying to correlate that.

“So where the value is, is actually looking at their internal systems first. Don’t get me wrong; maybe they can get value from external data, but that’s not step one.”

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

Featured Download

IT World Canada in your inbox

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Latest Blogs

Senior Contributor Spotlight