I recently wrote a piece for Techwell.com that addresses a question on many people’s mind: Does my company even need big data? It’s important to sidestep the hype and understand the different types of data sets and tools that are available, and which of them will fit the needs of your company.

From the article:

The first question any company needs to ask is if they will benefit from big data analysis. To do that, they need to begin by understanding the data sets available to them. For example, analysis of 20 years of stock closing prices would not likely require the power of big data systems. Given the relatively small size of this dataset, analysis can, and probably should, be performed using SQL or even simply Excel.

For historical analysis, high-powered data warehouses are incredible tools. Unlike databases, which are designed for simple storage and retrieval, data warehouses are optimized for analysis. In other words, data warehouses are built, from the ground up, to answer questions using stored data. As a result, they are much faster and efficient at performing complex analysis than a simple SQL database.

But large sets of unsorted and unordered data—such as financial transactions, production output records, or even weather data—do require big data analysis to bring order to the chaos and shed light on relationships, trends, and patterns made visible only by systematic and structured analysis.

Read the full article: Do You Even Need Big Data?

Do you have questions about big data and the cloud? Feel free to pose them below.