If there's one thing marketers have an abundance of, it's buzzwords and trends. One of the biggest right now? The appropriately titled "Big Data." With the "Internet of Things" on the horizon, poised to create massive amounts of customer metrics and pile them on top of already sizeable amounts of information, some hail Big Data as lord and savior by many marketing professionals. And while it's certainly promising, a recent report from Gartner says that it might not be all that the prophecy claims. Here are three of the nine myths that Garner busted:
- Everyone Is Ahead of You on Big Data
Take a deep breath. Despite the tweets, blog posts and frenzy of headlines about how Big Data is saving this company or that company or optimizing those people's spend, you're just fine. According to Gartner's survey results, between the 2013 and 2014 polls, only 5 percent of respondents moved out of the "No plans to invest (in Big Data) at this time," category. There's not a huge rush to jump on the Big Data bandwagon, rather it would seem that while some CMO's are dipping their feet in the pool, not all are flocking to the deep end. Go ahead and test out some Big Data solutions, you're still able to get in on the ground floor.
- Hadoop Will Replace Data Warehouses
Many of the same articles that hype the advent of the Big Data revolution point to Adobe's Hadoop as being the container or repository in which Big Data will live. However, the trusty stats from Gartner reveal that annually, only 5 percent of organizations will actually replace their existing data warehouses with Hadoop, and that percentage continues to decrease in each successive year. Hold onto your existing enterprise data warehouse (EDW), and put the effort into making sure it's ready for a massive increase in quantity of data. That's what Gartner recommends, instead of jumping the Hadoop shark.
- Big Data Technology Is Mature, and Without Risk
Another effect of the insular, self-repeating hype cycle has been to give the impression that Big Data is fully arrived, and ready to serve your company in every imaginable way. Worse yet, we as marketers are falling into a mindset that Big Data is completely unassailable, and fully formed—when the reality might not be quite so clear. Gartner would say that Big Data "still means different things to different people."
So maybe the lesson to be learned here is really one that's as old as time itself: take everything you're hearing with a grain of salt. Hype is good, it can get us motivated on tips and trends we might otherwise be behind the curve on, but don't get carried away with each new thing. There's a place and time for Big Data, and that's true whether you're a dreamer, a cynic, or just plain confused. In the words of our friends at Gartner, "Although the worst of the hype is over, it will be a long time before big data technology becomes mature."