Big Data Challenge More Than Managing Volumes of Data: Gartner

Many
IT leaders are attempting to manage "big data" challenges by focusing
on the high volumes of information to the exclusion of the many other
dimensions of information management, leaving massive challenges to be
addressed later, according to IT research firm Gartner.

"Big
data" is a popular term used to acknowledge the exponential growth,
availability and use of information in the data-rich landscape of tomorrow. The
term "big data" puts an inordinate focus on the issue of information
volume (in every aspect from storage through transform/transport to analysis),
according to Gartner. Big data is also heavily weighted toward current issues
and can lead to short-sighted decisions that will hamper an enterprise’s
information architecture as IT leaders try to expand and change it to meet
changing business needs, the report noted.

Information
managers may be tempted to focus on volume alone when they are losing control
of the access and qualification aspects of data at the same time. Gartner
analysts warned that too narrow a focus will force massive reinvestment in two
to three years to address the other dimensions of big data.

"Today’s
information management disciplines and technologies are simply not up to the
task of handling all these dynamics. Information managers must fundamentally
rethink their approach to data by planning for all the dimensions of
information management," said Mark Beyer, research vice president at
Gartner. "The business’s demand for access to the vast resources of big
data gives information managers an opportunity to alter the way the enterprise
uses information.”

Beyer
said IT leaders must educate their business counterparts on the challenges
while ensuring some degree of control and coordination so that the big data
opportunity doesn’t become big data chaos, which may raise compliance risks,
increase costs and create yet more silos.

Worldwide
information volume is growing at a minimum rate of 59 percent annually, and
while volume is a significant challenge in managing big data, business and IT
leaders must focus on information volume, variety and velocity, he said. While
big data is a significant issue, Gartner analysts said the real issue is making
sense of big data and finding patterns in it that help organizations make better
business decisions.

"The
ability to manage extreme data will be a core competency of enterprises that
are increasingly using new forms of information—such as text, social and
context—to look for patterns that support business decisions in what we call
Pattern-Based Strategy," said Yvonne Genovese, vice president and
distinguished analyst at Gartner. "Pattern-Based Strategy, as an engine of
change, utilizes all the dimensions in its pattern-seeking process. It then
provides the basis of the modeling for new business solutions, which allows the
business to adapt. The seek-model-and-adapt cycle can then be completed in
various mediums, such as social computing analysis or context-aware computing
engines."

RELATED ARTICLES

Must Read