The Big Data playbook

Baffled by Big Data? Trying to figure how they could provide value to your organization? Curious to learn from early adopters?

The Big Data “landslide” is definitely hard to ignore and it’s been a favorite topic on this blog ( take a look at some past articles on how to  get started with Big Data , source “Open” Big Data and visualize through BI tools ).

As usual with any new “next Big Thing” it’s quite hard to navigate through all the available information and cherry pick the pieces that are correct & relevant to your endeavors.

What’s even more effective and unfortunately rare is to be able to learn from the experiences that early adopters have had – identify best practices and avoid common pitfalls.

I recently came across a Forrester research paper, which seems to hit the nail  on several of the aforementioned issues! Furthermore it discusses the subject utilizing a Patterns approach ( a discipline i truly adore – if you’re haven’t been exposed to it yet take a quick look at how it’s applied in software and architecture )

It begins with a succinct definition:

“Big Data” are techniques and technologies that make handling data at extreme scale affordable.

And follows up with an excellent point as a response to a “So What?” reaction to the definition  – which in my experience sums up what Big Data are all about.

When the unaffordable becomes affordable, the impossible becomes possible.

From 11 interviews with early adopters of “Big Data” four core patterns of usage were uncovered


By further analyzing 12 examples, of real life implementations, six distinct building blocks emerged

bigData_exhibit02bigData_exhibit03The report continues by presenting & discussing specific examples across several Industries

  • Digital Marketing
  • Financial Services
  • Pharmaceutical
  • IT
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Social Media
  • Telecommunications

Each pattern is described through a diagram (e.g. the Data Refinery plus DW / BI DBMS)


and within each of the examples there’s a detailed analysis of the need, solution and results (e.g. take a look at Rubicon’s case)

bigData_exhibit05as well as an in depth view at the actual architecture & vendors used and finally last but most certainly not least a look at actual lessons learned.

An invaluable resource for anyone trying to move past initial understanding into the realm of planning a Big Data implementation the full report can be found here.

Are you ready to pick up the playbook and start designing your next steps? What are the biggest challenges you are facing in your path to adopting Big Data as an integral component of your daily activities?

2 thoughts on “The Big Data playbook

  1. Pingback: Getting Big Impact from Big Data… | Elias on tech, business and everything else...

  2. Pingback: The best BI & Analytics Platforms in 2015 | Elias on tech, business and everything else...

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