[ This post starts a series of works on the theme of BIG DATA intended for CEO-s and start-ups as well as future job seekers in this domain. Written by a baby-sitting CEO ]
I have always followed Euclid while writing any guidebook. What Euclid does is to tell at the outset what he is going to prove. If the premise seems wrong to you, you do not waste time. If the premise makes sense and useful for you, you move on.
1. BIG Data is a way to understand customer behavior. Since every customer falls into the species called human, BIG DATA in its broadest scope is to understand human behaviour.
2. Big Data companies or those claiming to be dealing with Big Data mean those data that are generated while a human being transacts with a digital system or with a human being or group via a digital system. An online banking transaction is the former and interacting in an online chat through a platform is the latter.
3. Human beings are doing so many transactions that data generated are becoming unmanageable through traditional means. There are two primary questions now :
a. Are we missing (or have missed) some valuable business intelligence in those data which we have simply ignored ?
The above is a core business decision. This question is to be thought by the CEO and his team. This needs some philosophical bent of mind with imagination.
b. If yes and common sense strongly points to this being yes, what are the ways and means to gather those intelligence ?
This is a technological or craftsmen problem. People with a temperament of a craftsmen / scientist will be interested more in this area.
c. If we invest on those ways and means,what will be the return on investment and how to measure this return on investment ? (cost-saving, opportunity cost, preventing future business loss, future profit assurance etc)
This is an economic problem and is the concern for men who manage money. Either their own or other people’s money. Banks, private equity, fund managers and will concentrate on this.
d. Shall I take a Big Data Course or which Big Data Course / Training shall I take ? Which will give me a better job prospect ?
This is the problem of the most of the people in terms of numbers. These people’s primary objective is neither Big Data nor Small Data but RoI and hence they are the atomic aspect of the concern (c) above.
I shall address them separately and will try to show how the whole evolution is guided by the interplay of these 4 players as above. I shall call this as Wordsmith PSEL (Philosophical, Scientific, Economic, Labour ) Framework.
If you have grasped the framework, it is very easy now to move along. We shall digress a little now and will try to see what is that thing we call Data.