Data's next steps

RedMonk's Steve O'Grady weighs in on data's pressing issues.

Steve O’Grady (@sogrady) , a developer-focused analyst from RedMonk, views large-scale data collection and aggregation as a problem that has largely been solved. The tools and techniques required for the Googles and Facebooks of the world to handle what he calls “datasets of extraordinary sizes” have matured. In O’Grady’s analysis, what hasn’t matured are methods for teasing meaning of this data that are accessible to “ordinary users.”

Among the other highlights from our interview:

  • O’Grady on the challenge of big data: “Kevin Weil (@kevinweil) from Twitter put it pretty well, saying that it’s hard to ask the right question. One of the implications of that statement is that even if we had perfect access to perfect data, it’s very difficult to determine what you would want to ask, how you would want to ask it. More importantly, once you get that answer, what are the questions that derive from that?”
  • O’Grady on the scarcity of data scientists: “The difficulty for basically every business on the planet is that there just aren’t many of these people. This is, at present anyhow, a relatively rare skill set and therefore one that the market tends to place a pretty hefty premium on.”
  • O’Grady on the reasons for using NoSQL: “If you are going down the NoSQL route for the sake of going down the NoSQL route, that’s the wrong way to do things. You’re likely to end up with a solution that may not even improve things. It may actively harm your production process moving forward because you didn’t implement it for the right reasons in the first place.”

The full interview is embedded below and available Here. For the entire interview transcript, click here.

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