Is big data oversold?

In their predictions for 2014 there was no shortage of analysts willing to include expansion of the use of big data as part of their crystal ball look-aheads.

But at last week’s Gartner BI Summit in Las Vegas research director Nick Heudecker came up with interesting results when he polled 43 attendees at his session: Only five (12 per cent) had a project in production. Twenty-eight per cent were planning, 18 per cent were piloting. Assuming they go ahead that would mean more than half see value.

But note this: 42 per cent had no plans for a big data project. Some might argue that a poll of 43 isn’t very revealing. On the other hand, these are people whose organizations paid their way to the conference and had considerable interest in the topic.

The wide definition of big data doesn’t help. Generally it encompasses analyzing datasets that were thought to be too big until recently. Certainly with the Internet of Things increasing, everyone assumes that every organization will have more data to analyze every week than there are stars in the heavens.

Perhaps that’s a fallacy. Perhaps organizations are having so much trouble finding insights in the data they already see as vital they aren’t worried about handling more. Or perhaps software developers have yet to create solutions that organizations can see will easily harness huge amounts of data.

Either way it’s an interesting debate. I’d like to hear from your about your organization’s big data plans in the space below.



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 [@]

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