The pervasiveness of the term Big Data is serving to raise awareness of the business value derived from the analysis of less relational data sources existing both internally and externally to an organisation. This awareness is also extending to the growing number of technical means of addressing these data sources and delivering business value from Hadoop and SQL/MR, to data integration and visualisation tools.
The belief that the term Big Data relates to large data volumes in isolation is still prevalent. Gartner’s ‘Four Axes of Big Data’ which describes the Velocity, Volume, Variety and Complexity, of the data types and sources that constitute the Big Data opportunity is a great way of initiating a discussion on the integration of these data sources within an organisation, and the value that they present.
The sooner that these additional dimensions to Big Data become part of the discussion and the focus moves away from it being about data volumes in isolation, the sooner we can focus on understanding how to derive value from the data.
Once the discussion moves to this point hopefully the use of the term Big Data can represent an understanding that true enterprise analytics needs to incorporate non-relational data sources in conjunction with relational data stores. At this point the use of non-relational data sources can be incorporated to augment the single view of the enterprise that has been the goal of existing data integration programs.