Don’t risk starting your big data exercise in the deep end

When my mother was a child growing up in Hawaii, her first swimming lesson was basically a short boat trip to the Pacific Ocean and a strong shove. If my grandparents had chosen to employ this technique in the Molokai Channel — one of the most treacherous swimming channels in the world — I probably wouldn’t be here to tell this story.

I’ve often criticized companies for spending huge amounts of money on fancy big data hardware and data scientists only to splash around in the shallow end without any real idea of what to do with the data. But that doesn’t mean powering through all three Vs — volume, velocity, and variety — at the same time from the start. If you’re going to take the big data challenge, it’s best to paddle your way through volume, velocity, and variety one at a time.

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