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Forrester Analyst: Big Data isn't about Size #Interop

Big Data Interop - Forrester Analyst Vanessa AlvarezFrom the 'Size Matters Not' files:

LAS VEGAS. Among the most hyped terms in IT today is Big Data. While there are those that might debate how large a data set need to be before it is Big Data, Forrester Analyst, Vanessa Alvarez is not among them.

At the Interop conference today, Alvarez took the stage in a session about Big Data and pronounced that the reality of Big Data is that the size of the data doesn't matter. Big Data in her definition is mostly unstructured with data streaming in from disparate sources.

"Big data means big value," Alvarez said.

Going a step further, while IT people and technology journalists (guilty!) might harp on definitions of what Big Data is, when it comes to line of business people, it doesn't matter.

"I ask CIO's what  big data means to them and none can tell me," Alvarez said. "For them any data that can add to their top line is valuable data. I don't feel like a line of business person needs to know what Big Data is.  All they need to know is what value they can extract from the data."

Alvarez of course has a very valid point. In IT, we frequently agonize over definition and technology implementation. For the business, that doesn't really matter. What matters is the bottom line and how IT can be an enabler instead of a bottleneck.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.