Ignore Big Data in 2013 At Your Own Peril
December 20, 2012

Pete Goldin

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In the Inc. special report on How (and Where) to Make Money in 2013 (and Beyond), author Erik Sherman places Big Data on the list of 5 Trends to Ignore in 2013. In contrast, I suggest that ignoring Big Data is not a business savvy move in 2013.

Sherman says: "Everyone needs big data, if you read the business and technology magazines. But the term has become an amorphous catch phrase that covers everything. Real big data involves millions or even billions of data points. We're talking complicated tasks like predicting the weather, or Google looking for trends among all the search queries it sees day in, day out."

"That level of data analysis is probably nowhere near what you need for your business," he adds. "Most decisions are built on small data: dozens or hundreds or maybe thousands of data points. If you don't have systems in place that let you regularly and predictably make effective use of the data you already have, then looking at big data is like saying you want to jump into the ocean to avoid getting damp from a summer shower."

Application Performance Management is the perfect example of why Sherman is wrong. IT monitoring can produce millions and even billions of metrics. And the technology is out there to crunch those metrics and analyze them, and help improve application performance.

In an article about a Big Data survey, I said: With the growth of IT infrastructure, as well as the growth of applications and their complexity, comes an increase in performance metrics. In fact, 83% of respondents agreed with Gartner’s estimate that metric collection has increased 300% or more in the last four years. And one respondent from a large corporation has seen the IT estate grow tenfold, to the point where they now collect over a billion metrics daily.

Several respondents also confirmed that APM tools are part of the huge explosion in metric collection, generating thousands of KPIs per application.

Today, analytics technologies are emerging that can make sense out of this Big Data. This technology has a starring role in APMdigest's APM Predictions for 2013.

“There’s no question that Big Data has become a driver for Advanced Performance Analytics (APA), where capabilities for processing tens of millions of KPIs or data points in real time or near real time is becoming more and more common,” said Dennis Drogseth, VP, Application and Business Services at EMA, in an APMdigest article.

In an APMdigest blog Graham Gillen of Netuitive says: "The results are well documented with one global telco reporting that it is using Behavior Learning technology and predictive analytics to analyze more than a million metrics simultaneously allowing it to eliminate 3,480 hours annually in service degradation representing a business savings of $18 million."

APM is just one example of why businesses should be paying attention to Big Data in 2013.

I would say that ignoring Big Data in business in 2013 is like ignoring a locomotive while standing on the tracks.

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