Ignore BIG Data – get your small data right

Of course the IT industry loves a buzzword, BIG DATA; it sounds kind of clever and geeky?

We have data – LOTS of it!

As many companies embark on their Big Data journey with teams of developers, Project Managers and of course architects folks all jostling to jump on the <Hadoop> bandwagon spare a thought for the small data world.

Millions of data warehouses have been implemented but very few of them deliver the insight, reporting and financial business benefit they were supposed to.

Many data warehouses started with rather grand “Enterprise Data Warehouse” (EDW) titles and ended up more as large data dumps delivering poor data quality, little data governance and limited flexibility. EDW’s became a byword for malformed and disjointed data warehouses that organisation struggled to control due to lack of strategy and vision.

Just because companies have vast amounts of data it still needs managing, controlling and crucially of all needs the business vision to ensure the technology and data model is fit for purpose.

Small data is an essential part of this and some of the key requirements that are just as valid for Big Data can be summarised as:

  • a clearly defined and agreed set of organisational KPI’s
  • standard reporting hierarchies
  • good understanding of metric definitions (still amazes me that so few operational managers in big FTSE 100’s don’t know what their definition of the sale metric is)
  • A Business Intelligence strategy
  • Good data governance (the low take up and poor implementation of the BI Centre of Excellence and Chief Data Office is testament to this)

Getting the small data right, having a vision and strategy is an essential component of any Big Data journey.

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About Isobella Franks

I am a technology geek and fascinated by new technologies. I write as a guest author on a number of IT and technology blogs and news sites.

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