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Big data: One toe in or both feet first?

When going swimming, people take several different approaches to deal with the cool temperature of the water. Some like to stick one foot in the water to get acclimated, while others may start at the steps of the pool and go one step at a time until they are fully submerged in the water and then there are the brave ones who just cannon ball into the water and take it all in at once.

Raj Sabhlok, president of enterprise IT management software firm ManageEngine, compared the swimming analogy to big data, saying it’s better to take a toe-in-the-water approach than jumping in with both feet. Sabhlok shared these thoughts in an article, “Big Data: Start Small, Think Big” for InformationWeek.

In the article, he discussed how the world of IT has changed drastically in the last 10 years, there was once a time when there wasn’t enough data to manage; now there is too much. With information coming from several different avenues, how do you manage it all? Sabhlok suggests starting small.

Big data has a lot of upsides, including helping an enterprise discover how well their in-house IT team is performing. But if you don’t take the time first to investigate your current system, it’s easy to get in over your head quickly.

Have you ever purchased something new that came with instructions of how to assemble it? But, instead of following the step-by-step instructions, you tried to put it together without them and it turned into a complete disaster? Switching to a new management system without doing the proper research can put you right back in that situation.

A few points Sabhlok made that we found helpful are:

  • Don’t take on a full-blown big data project, start off with little data
  • Look at the reporting capabilities of your company’s existing tools
  • Spend more time focusing on a data system’s reporting capabilities, instead of the bells and whistles.

I invite you read the full article, which you can access here, and let us know your thoughts.

Topics: Paperless ERP