Big data is not a product, it's a solution
I met one of the salesman from one of the largest IT company in the world. He was trying to pitch about the capability of his company's big data appliance. He highlighted to me, "Put this appliance in the data center, and there is it. You got yourself a big data solution out of the box". Is it?
No, the salesman got it wrong. All wrong. Selling a solution is way different than selling a product. We can't get big data solution by just buying an appliance. It is more than that.
However, I did asked him what does it means by "a big data solution out of the box". He responded that "the appliance can store and analyze unstructured data". Does this sufficient to be called a big data solution?
No, he got it wrong again the second time. Yes, storing and analyzing unstructured data is considered one of the pivotal elements in big data philosophy, however, it is not the only items that defined big data. Big data can be many things depending with who you talk to. The scope of big data is broader than just analyzing unstructured data. There is an organization that I met called their big data agenda as part of BI initiative. Big data can be many things.
Don't embark on something for the sake of following the trend
Many organizations are looking at big data from product-perspective. The main reason is that they would like to follow the trends. When people discuss big data, they want to be part of the conversation. They choose the product first without knowing what they want to achieve. They look at the product as a way for them to enable big data in their environment. This is definitely a difficult path they are taking and eventually they will end-up making the business to follow the product's requirements and constraints. A product should by right follow business requirements.
Big data should come from solution-perspective and not a product-perspective. In order for the organization to start getting something valuable from big data, the organization needs to start asking the right questions. What is the problem that we would like to resolve? What are the rules or model associated with the data that we would like to fed in?
Big data definitely has an immeasurable effect toward the way organizations are looking at many things. Organization which understand how to decipher their data and uncovering value out of it will definitely will be more competitive in their line of business as they can feedback faster in the market.