Last week Rackspace sent out a press release stating that Dutch businesses are betting heavily on Big Data in 2015. The statement was based on a quick poll amongst visitors of their Dutch Innovation Day last January.
During the event Rackspace Chief Technologist Chris Jackson shared his view of the future with the audience. His advice to the attendees was to get on top of the data flood that businesses are about to experience. He gave three tips: make someone the owner of the data, align your digital strategy with your business goals and continuously innovate. While not shockingly new this is sound advice for businesses entering the real world of big data. Hortonworks senior solutions engineer Ankur Gupta then explained the crucial role of Hadoop Distributed File System in implementing a Big Data architecture. Chandra Salem from Rackspace followed with an extensive introduction into the technologies of a modern data store, their applicability, and the strategic and operational aspects to be considered in the transformation journey.
The presented content was certainly insightful for IT decision makers considering their first or next big data step. But there was more than just big data architecture slides. Rackspace’s press release also gave us the overall results of research they carried out. Unfortunately these were not so insightful.
Research in general can be very useful: it has the ability to show facts, debunk fiction and occasionally come up with new insight. Rackspace’s research appeared to be actually a poll amongst the audience of their innovation day and contained the answers of the 78 visitors. It is unclear how many attendees actually gave answers. On the Hadoop question (“Where are you in your Hadoop journey?”) 66 of the 78 attendees responded, 22 of which had no clue what Hadoop was; at least that was their answer. A good reason for Ankur Gupta to continue his Hadoop evangelist work but the question arises: are these respondents really Dutch IT decision makers?
It does make you wonder about the value of the outcomes especially since there is only a press release and no link to the actual poll questions and answers. Bert Stam, Rackspace director for the CEMA region nevertheless revealed that from the research results he now knows that big data is no longer a hype, that analytics is hot and that many organizations have plans to start big data projects shortly. He is of course spot on. But let’s be honest these conclusions aren’t exactly breaking news, earth-shattering or offering new insight.