Michael Dell: Nobody Wants Big Data, Instead They Want…
Dell CEO Michael Dell, EMC CEO Joe Tucci and NetApp CEO Tom Georgens discussed Big Data opportunities and challenges during a VMworld CEO panel earlier this week. VMware CEO Paul Maritz and his successor Pat Gelsinger also offered their two cents. But it was Dell who made the most profound comment about the Big Data craze.
“Nobody actually wants Big Data,” he told the VMworld 2012 audience. “What they really want is big impact and big results.”
Good points, Mr. Dell. A quick audience survey mentioned mobility and Big Data as the two biggest emerging trends in IT. The Big Question: Can anybody — including VARs — actually define and implement Big Data solutions?
What Is Big Data?
The entire panel painted a picture where Big Data blends structured and unstructured data, both within corporate systems, on partner systems, and out on public social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn. It’s not about having a lot of data; it’s about having a lot of different types of data, cultivated in-house and outside your firewall. The big challenge: Instead of taking a few days to batch and analyze the data, it has to be done in real-time.
An example: When a shopper is walking down the aisle of a retail store, Big Data systems must make real-time offers. The moment chili, hot dogs and Tabasco go into the shopping cart, intelligent Big Data systems should tell you not to forget the Tums, with a private Tweet to your smart phone telling you to head to aisle seven for antacid right now.
Intriguing stuff, but the panel conceded Big Data systems will be difficult to push down into mid-size and small businesses. “It’s a lot harder for them [SMBs] to use that information to actually unlock productivity,” said Dell.