This article “Which Do We Need More: Big Data or Fast Data?” from Entrepreneur.com shines a light on the buzz word Big Data, and makes a reference to the Fresh Prince of Belair, which is always awesome. The article astutely points out that Big Data is not the answer to everything. Just because a terabyte of data is collected from the ether of data space does’t mean that anything meaningful will be derived from it. What the article suggests is that instead of investing in more data in an effort to chase the elusive Big Data dream, investing in a data analyst would be a smarter move.
Here at OLAP.com, we think data analysts are very important, and definitely a smart investment, but if they aren’t empowered with access to the data as well as with fast, intuitive tools to do discovery, that investment could prove ineffective. Looking for patterns and insight is a big challenge when you are dealing with disconnected systems—which most businesses are. And most of the time, that analysis will happen in Excel, which is at best unwieldy and error-prone for organization-wide analytics.
What we suggest is implementing next-generation technology that unites, centralizes and connects data sources and the applications that people use to consume or add value to that data. These new technologies unite the capabilities of a relational database and an analytical engine, giving your new data analyst or existing employees FAST, FLEXIBLE access to all relevant business data. With a set-up like that, there are very few barriers to the patterns and insights you can derive from your data, and THAT is what we are after.