June 22, 2012

Is Big Data a big hype or not?

Don't tell me you haven't heard anything about Big Data. You definitely did -- it's a so trendy term today. Are we facing one more hype or not? I always thought that data is worth something only when someone knows how to extract value from it. So if you know how to do it then the more data you have -- the more value you get. And vice verse -- if you don't know how to extract value from small amounts of data, having 10 times more data won't help much. No magic here.

I personally know only 2 widely popular disciplines about extracting knowledge from data -- Data Mining (for nerds) and Business Intelligence (for more or less normal people). Let's check if their popularity correlates with popularity of Big Data. Google Trends will help us (headings are clickable):

Here everything is obvious -- popularity skyrockets. In start-ups' world people call this "hockey stick growth". Well, actually we didn't have to look into Google Trends to find it out -- internet is full of talks about Big Data nowadays.

What about Data Mining?

Hmmm... not that hilarious. Obviously it doesn't correlate with Big Data. Okay, these are nerds, they perhaps don't talk much to each other and to other people. What about Business Intelligence?

Like it or not, but popularity of Business Intelligence according to the most popular search engine steadily goes down. Does it correlate with Big Data? No.

So, is Big Data just one more hype invented by sales people or not? Am I missing something?