Big Data: Have another V

EMC Arnaud Bacros, Country Manager ad interim of EMC Belux, claims for a new V for the Big Data phenomena: the Value !

September 19, 2013

EMC Arnaud Bacros, Country Manager ad interim of EMC Belux, claims for a new V for the Big Data phenomena: the Value !

In the discussion on Big Data, most definitions center on the three Vs: Volume, Velocity and Variety. In my view, that is mainly a technical discussion, that does not take into account what Big Data is really about for companies. Enterprises that want to put their data to work, should not essentially be worrying about the volume, the velocity or the variety of their data. These are a given. Not a lot you can do about that. What it boils down to is the Value that they can derive from the massive amounts of information they gather.

Companies have been dealing with data forever. And people have forever been worrying about the volume of data. In 1944 already, scientists complained about an information explosion. Too many people were publishing scientific papers. Each scientific advance led to other scientific advances, each bringing forth new scientific papers. No one would be able to read all those papers, they claimed. Almost forty years later, in 1982, John Naisbitt predicted we would be drowning in information, but starving for knowledge. Since then, the information overload has only increased.

Between now and 2020 the ‘digital universe’ will double in size every year. According to the latest surveys, the digital universe will reach 40 zettabytes by 2020. That’s over 5.000 gigabytes of data for every human being on the planet. So yes, we certainly have the necessary volume of data to talk about BIG Data.

But what really counts is what we get out of this data. Getting information out of data is more important than ever. Information used to be critical to compete. Nowadays, information is critical to survive. Information is the new oil, and all of us are in the information business.

In its most recent study of the Digital Universe, IDC claims that only 1 per cent of valuable data is analyzed. So we are missing a great opportunity to get more value out of our data.

I see three necessary steps in our approach to big data. First of all, we have to identify what data we will mine. Secondly, we need the capabilities and the tools to extract that value. And thirdly, we must take a look at how we will protect data and their value.

So let’s not talk about the technicalities of volume, velocity and variety. Let’s talk instead about the value that we can derive from our data. This approach may come as a surprise from a technology company like EMC, but let’s not forget that technology for technology’s sake will no longer fly with tomorrow’s decision-makers. They are interested only in solutions that can tackle their challenges. And in the value they get from the investments they make in these solutions.

Fortunately, there’s a lot of value to be derived from our data. The value is out there for you to grab. So go out there and grab yourself another V. The V of Value.

Arnaud Bacros, Country Manager ad interim of EMC Belux (in picture)

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