Click here to monitor SSC
SQLServerCentral is supported by Red Gate Software Ltd.
Log in  ::  Register  ::  Not logged in

Big Data - Cost of acquiring skills

By David Poole,

Today we have a guest editorial as Steve is away at SQL Intersection.

I was privileged to attend the QCON London 2014 conference in early March.  The value of attending such a conference is that you are exposed to ideas far beyond the world of SQL Server and those ideas shock you into a new way of thinking.

Some of the comments on Big Data by Matt Asay of MongoDB really struck home.  To paraphrase Matt, Big Data is all about exploration and discovery.  Inherent in an experimental approach is that you are going to find a lot of theories that do not pan out.  Matt included a quote from Thomas Edison on inventing the light bulb in his presentation  “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

Imagine investing a 6 figure sum in a high end analytics platform or data warehouse appliance only to disprove 10,000 theories!  I cannot imagine senior management enthusing about the return on investment.

Matt made the comment that open-source software allows you to dip your toe in the water with Big Data at very low cost.  Reducing the cost of experimentation is crucial to nuturing an environment with a decent probability of getting value from Big Data. Without the high cost imperative on achieving success and achieving it early there is no incentive to game the system.  There is no need for ugly blamestorming sessions or to try political spin to excuse failure and avoid getting fired!

Ultimately open source software is NOT free, after all companies and individuals who produce the software have to feed their kids, pay the bills just like their proprietary bretheren.  Chances are the free community editions of the products are feature reduced but what does that matter?  You can make a great deal of progress and then determine whether a big ticket spend is required.

And yet low cost experimentation is not just the preserve of the open-source community.  Yes SQL Express is a free download but at around £40 SQL Server Developer Edition is a throttled back version of the full blown enterprise edition.  To me £40 for the chance to learn about the full features of SQL Server represents good value for money.  My only constraint is time.

To wrap this up I should like to leave you with a closing quote from Thomas Edison.  “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

Total article views: 310 | Views in the last 30 days: 13
Related Articles

Tableau Software Debuts

With it's VizQL, Tableau Software is revolutionizing the way that you will analyze data. Built to wo...


Serverless Software

Today Steve Jones talks about the future of software development and how it might not require develo...


Opinions on SQL Server Software

A post about the various options on SQL Server software


Software Giants

Microsoft is the largest software company in the world. What does this mean for SQL Server? Steve Jo...


Open Source Software and Cacoëthes Scribendi

Phil Factor on the irresistible urge to write code in the public domain, and the occasional desire t...

big data    

Join the most active online SQL Server Community

SQL knowledge, delivered daily, free:

Email address:  

You make SSC a better place

As a member of SQLServerCentral, you get free access to loads of fresh content: thousands of articles and SQL scripts, a library of free eBooks, a weekly database news roundup, a great Q & A platform… And it’s our huge, buzzing community of SQL Server Professionals that makes it such a success.

Join us!

Steve Jones

Already a member? Jump in:

Email address:   Password:   Remember me: Forgotten your password?
Steve Jones