Top 10

Yes, Big Data was a Big Buzzword in 2013. The technology and business press — and even mainstream media — got a piece of the action, churning out article after article about what Big Data means to you. And that's part of the problem. Big Data means lots of things to lots of people.

It might be better to think of big data as big analysis, because that's really what's happening here. It's not about the data itself, but about analyzing the data to gain insights and business value, across industries and verticals. CMSWire has kept you up-to-date on the big data trend all year — and here are our Top 10 big data stories of the year.

Hit Parade

1) Virginia Backaitis (@actbrilliant) took a look at the hot job of 2013: data scientist. She generated plenty of interest with her story Sexy Enough to Be a Data Scientist?

'Data Scientist' is the sexiest job of the 21st century. The Harvard Business Review made this claim last October and it seems that everyone (including your grandmother) has been repeating it ever since."

2) Darin Bartik (@simpleisbetter) explored two sides of the coin in Why Most Big Data Projects Fail + How to Make Yours Succeed.

Taming big data and being able to get the business insight you need is a daunting task all by itself. But if everyone isn't on the same page when it comes to defining the scope of the project and all the right pieces aren't in place, the project is destined to fail."

3) David Roe (@druadh20) explored 5 Recommendations for Developing a Big Data Analytics Strategy, including identifying business needs.

Big Data, it seems, has reached the main stream. Everyone’s talking about it and everyone’s wondering whether they should do it, according to new research from IBM. But it remains to be seen whether businesses and business decision makers really understand what Big Data actually is, or how to develop a strategy get the most of it."

4) Virginia Backaitis (@actbrilliant) laid out the pros and cons of two options in Open Source vs. Proprietary Software: There Is No Clear Winner.

Everyone loves the promise of Open Source Software (OSS). It’s free (or almost free); it’s built by passionate communities of developers; you can 'look under the hood'; and there’s no vendor lock-in. Add to that, that the rate of innovation is supposed to be faster with OSS — why would anyone choose to work with anything else?"

5) Stephen Fishman (@trivoca) got readers attention with a story that argued The Sexiest Part of Being a Data Scientist Is Not in the Code, It's in the Storytelling.

I think the folks at Harvard need to go back to school. I understand why they believe that data scientist will be "the sexiest job of the 21st century", but what I don't understand is the lack of applying basic business school fundamentals to the claim and then taking the next step."

6) Joyce Hostyn (@joyce_hostyn) asked whether too much emphasis is being placed on Big Data -- and not enough on basic human feelings, in Better Human Understanding, Not Big Data, is the Future of Business. 

Despite the best of intentions, we’re not data driven, we’re hypothesis driven. Our stories (our mental models) are merely hypotheses of how the world works. But we see them as reality and they influence what data we collect, how we collect it and the meaning we glean from it.

7) Tjeerd Brenninkmeijer (@Tjeerd Brenninkmeijer) pointed out that the task of creating optimized customer experience requires us to come up with creative ways to use the data that's at our disposal.

Deriving value out of the data that an enterprise has, especially when it’s being used to drive an optimized content experience, has little to do with size, and much to do with how easily it's accessed and how intelligently our content tools can use it to drive that optimized consumer journey.

8) Virginia Backaitis (@actbrilliant) analyzes the Yahoo Hadoop spinoff in Who the Hadoop is Hortonworks and What Have They Just Done?

Consider that 24 engineers from the original Yahoo team that developed the Open Source software framework that supports data-intensive distributed applications work at the company. And that they say they have contributed more code to the Apache Hadoop project than any of their competitors. (Namely MapR and Cloudera.) This isn’t hard to believe because Hortonworks writes nothing (in house) that is proprietary and holds nothing back.

9) David Roe (@druadh20) took a look at an early Forrester Wave report in Big Data Predictive Analytics Market Led By IBM, SAS; New Entrants Compete.

To see how vendors compare to each other, Forrester evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of the top players in the predictive space. While the market is too young to really tease out trends the way it would in more established IT areas, Forrester says it expects the market to be highly competitive with new entrants over the next three years.

10) Daniel Kehrer (@140Main) picked out the 6 Basic Mistakes Marketers Make about Big Data.

It may be the biggest step yet toward fulfilling one of every CMO’s deepest desires. McKinsey calls it "the biggest game-changing opportunity for marketing and sales since the Internet went mainstream 20 years ago." And researchers at MIT found that companies injecting big data and analytics into their operations achieve, on average, 5 to 6 percent greater productivity and profitability than their peers.