March was the scene of much Big Data noise. This month alone, 4 of my friends are shipping books on the subject. Plus, between the Gartner Business Intelligence Summit and the GigaOM Structure Data conference held last week, much of the Big Data industry has been creating its own Big Data noise. Overwhelmed much?

Don’t fret, I’ve created this quick post to help you catch up on the industry buzz in a breeze.

GigaOM Structure:Data Recap

First time I attended this conference and I have to say: “well done”. The conference attracted quality business attendees and many of the speeches were of high quality. This conference is a little different from the O’Reilly Strata Conference. Its content is more high-level and the audience is in the hundreds (Strata had 3,000 in San Jose last month).

Amongst the key presentations, my favorite one was Gus Hunt’s, the CIA’s CTO. Gus was very articulated, open and he clearly known his stuff. The talk was refreshing, reassuring and it provided a great confirmation for some of the key themes we believe in, namely:

1) In the end, Big Data Democracy wins. Hunt highlighted the issues around the current toolset and technology options for Big Data. They are too complicated and we need to realize that not everybody is a data scientist.

2) The need for speed. I recently sat down next to an analyst who was explaining that “not everyone needs real-time” access to data. Hunt shatters that perception, explaining that speed is everything in the Big Data game. We couldn’t agree more.

3) The end of sampling. Hunt referred to “data value” overtime. He talks about the fact that “having more data is always better” and that predetermination for storage is a mistake.

There is a lot more in the Hunt’s presentation and I’ve summarized some key interesting points here. His full presentation is embedded below. If you have 20 mins, this will be the best Big Data presentation you can watch this week.

Gartner Business Intelligence (BI) Summit Recap

I’ve been to many of Gartner conferences. They have become the expected reference in the industry. This year though, I didn’t have time to attend in person so I made sure to follow the conference online and caught up through some of my friends. The below is a set of key stats/moments I gathered (sources quoted below). Nate Silver keynoted the event so I made sure to include some of his “nuggets”. Enjoy!

The good news:

Gartner says that 42% of IT Leaders have invested in Big Data or will do so within a Year.

72% of respondents say they plan to increase spend in analytics this year.

The bad news:

60% actually said they don’t have the skills required to effectively use analytics.

55 to 79% of businesses view big data as a “significant challenge”

Gartner Technology Trends

Gartner Top Technology Trends from Bruno Aziza

Gartner Business Intelligence and Analytics Summit

Gartner BI Summit Recap from Bruno Aziza