Big Data Tips From the Experts: Evaluate and Adapt

Start Free Trial
July 23, 2014 by Updated May 8th, 2024


Having the right technology is crucial to the success of a big data project, but having the right business process in place is equally critical. Check out these tips from seasoned big data experts to ensure that your next project is a success.

1. Measure Everything

“Measure and record everything, and keep an eye on your key metrics. Things change, and tests become obsolete, and sometimes in surprising ways especially when you depend on external data. (Tweet This) For example, data sources you mine may introduce rolling changes, which are hard to catch as an error but easy to identify in metrics.” – Christian Prokopp, Principal Consultant at Big Data Partnership

Follow Christian on Twitter @prokopp

2. Sharing is caring

“Building a community of analysts can create a volume of valuable queries and analytics. (Tweet This) In the security space, this is crucial in order to pass along know-how and best practices, for example how to discover rogue users based on users’ activity profiling.” – Idan Tendler, CEO of Fortscale.

Follow Fortscale on Twitter @fortscale

3. Encryption

“Encrypting data at rest is a good best practice.” (Tweet This) -Minesh Patel, Qubole

Follow Minesh on Twitter @m1nesh

4. Pick the Right Distribution

“A common question is whether to go for distribution from Apache or a vendor. When there is enough expertise in the organization to know the internals of the different frameworks for integrating and resolving any issues quickly, then go with Apache Hive. If that expertise is not available, use a distribution through a vendor and get commercial support to resolve any issues that may arise.” (Tweet This) -Praveen Sripati, Hadoop trainer and author of Dattamsha.

Follow Praveen on Twitter @praveensripati

5. Start Small

“Developing a Big Data strategy is all about starting small and making gradual steps in becoming more data-driven. (Tweet This) Start with breaking down the data silos within your organization to gain the most insights from your data when you start analyzing it through a variety of tools.” – Mark van Rijmenam – CEO / Founder BigData-Startups

Follow Mark on Twitter @VanRijmenam

6. Have a Business Intent

“There is often a perception that there is gold in an organization’s data and that if you just look hard enough, you will find it. In reality, this perception can lead to fruitless efforts with no real direction and no payoff. Instead, start with a business intent in mind. (Tweet This) What are the actions you would take—and the value to your business—if data can provide the answer to a certain question?” — Sean Stauth, Director, Client Services, Silicon Valley Data Science

Follow Sean on Twitter @sastauth

7. Update Your Strategy

“Your data strategy should be a living document that helps you get the most value from your data. (Tweet This) As your goals, your technical environment, or the market change, keep it updated to help you follow those changes and stay on course.” — Scott Kurth, VP, Advisory Services, Silicon Valley Data Science

Follow Scott on Twitter @ScottWKurth

For more big data tips, check out this post on setup, a post on adopting a data mindset, or these expert tips.

Start Free Trial
Read Case Study: Pinterest’s Journey to Qubole