A little over two years ago, I wrote forth with righteous fury about the marketing “people” who were taking a genuine new approach to looking at data and “market-ifying” it by creating bullshit neologisms like “data scientist” or “big data specialist”.
I’m still calling bullshit.
Not that this would surprise anyone but those that are still charging a metric-fuck-tonne(™) for the snake oil of this century don’t want you to think about what access to vast amounts of data really means.
TLDR: Do you really think that
(A) you’re business is qualified to run its own Google and that
(B) you’re going to get some insights beyond the top 10 hits?
These motherfuckers selling the latest “Big Data” revolution were perfectly happy charging for “Business Intelligence solutions” in the the 90s. Although I can’t remember Crystal reports ever solving anything. For the past five years they’ve shoved “cloud”, “iAAS”, “PaaS” and “FU-aaS” down everyone’s throat – or up everyone’s asshole depending on if you are a vendor or a buyer. Lucky for us that TechCrunch and every VC firm that thinks those guys are honest brokers in a rigged game only has a five year attention span.
Disclaimer: I’m about 5 Yamazaki’s in – but I don’t’ think sobriety would make me any less upset. I started at 3 Yamazaki’s and I’m headed towards Tequila levels of angry right now.
So let’s recap:
- “Big Data” will not save your broke ass business model. I don’t give a fuck what your consultant says – And let’s remember, I’m a consultant.
- “Business Intelligence” requires some intelligence behind your business. If you’re an idiot, the collection of giga-megs of data just to prove your an idiot is counterproductive.
- Most of your problems are not technology based. People that suck with a data platform are still people that suck.
- Dealing with any problem at scale is hard. Really hard. Dealing with data at scale is adding insult to injury. There are only a few people who seem to do this well. And other than guys who tell you that new seasons of “Arrested Development” will kick major ass – the people who rule the world of large data all seem to have three letter names and a fuck load of secrets about how they store and process data. (Groom Lake was so X-Files 90s.)
The travesty here? A slow, well thought out approach to dealing with data and the opportunity that it represents could be the blossoming of a new axis along which information processing could flourish. If we could merely hold off on the hyperbolic promises of a “new computing revolution” we might actually get a new computing revolution. One based on sound principles and technology – not quasi-logical marketing pablum. And as anyone who has ever lost a document on their own hard drive will tell you – finding what you’re looking for when you’re looking for it is far more important than the fact that you have seventeen copies of the document somewhere in the [terabytes of storage that we all take for granted as in the modern era].
If the internet solved the problem of getting shit from point A to point B – then the data revolution could help finally tell us what went where, when it went there, and might even give us a few guesses as to why. And that’s some Winston Wolf shit right there.