Unclear Goals Lead to Big Data Failures

8387594469_18e2b9ef34_nby Angela Guess

Doug Henschen of InformationWeek reports that a new IT staff survey shows that Big Data projects are hampered by unclear business goals and unrealistic expectations. He writes, “What business problem are you trying to solve? If you could tell your IT employees what it is, they’d have a much better crack at big data success. At least that’s the perspective of IT staffers as reported in a recent survey by big data cloud-services provider Infochimps. The survey, ‘CIOs & Big Data: What Your IT Team Wants You to Know,’ confirms that there’s big interest in this topic, with 81% of respondents listing ‘Big Data/Advanced Analytics Projects’ as a top-five 2013 IT priority. However, respondents also report that 55% of big data projects don’t get completed and that many others fall short of their objectives. ‘Inaccurate scope’ is cited by 58% as the top reason that big data IT projects fail.”

Henschen goes on, “‘Too many big data projects are structured like boil-the-ocean experiments,’ Infochimps’ CEO, Jim Kaskade, told InformationWeek. Lots of companies are blindly building out Hadoop clusters and collecting new data based on only a vague plan to open up that data store to multiple lines of business in 12 to 24 months, Kaskade said. A better approach, he advised, is to prioritize business use cases first and start solving one problem at a time. ‘Some people would say that approach is too messy and incremental, but you’re going to learn much more tackling five uses cases than you would learn after 24 months of building out a platform that has no real usage,’ he said.”

Read more here.

photo credit: Steve Snodgrass

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