9 Indicators To Determine Whether Big Data Is Right For You

Big Data Indicators

Big data is on the rise, and many businesses are wondering whether they should be a part of it. With all the data available to businesses everywhere, it can be hard to tell when you’ve crossed that threshold. Let’s examine nine different indicators that may demonstrate that big data has indeed arrived at your front step.

1. Your Data Is Overwhelming

Are you using multiple sources to pull in your data? Are you finding that there’s too much data to handle? One of the biggest indicators that your data is getting out of hand is that it starts to become useless. You become so busy trying to capture and store your data that you have no time left to find a good use for it. Let’s look at a real world example.

Let’s say you are working with medical devices. Doctors use these devices to test and collect data on their patients. Without a big data toolset, large quantities of data from medical devices can overwhelm the system. Urgent diagnoses may find themselves waiting on an unsustainable backlog of testing data.

Bottlenecks like this are not so uncommon. Those who can interpret raw data into actionable insights are unable to do so because the collection of data is too slow. If you feel like you are missing the benefits of data because you are too busy storing it, you may find you are ready for a big data platform.

2. You’ve Been Swiped By Negative Social Chatter

There is an entire industry today centred around repairing online corporate reputations. Social connectivity makes chatter about your business inevitable. From small to enterprise businesses, your customers are talking about you. Unfortunately, not all of it is good.

If the conversion about your brand excludes your input, big data can help. Big data tools, like Apache Hadoop, can make the organization of this social chatter easy to manage and respond to. Hadoop can be used to monitor social media for negative posts, giving you the ability to respond quickly when a customer is not happy.

3. You Want To Store All Data & Scale Up

Historical data is responsible for a large amount of data insights. By using historical data, you can detect patterns and algorithms to your consumer’s behaviour. For example, businesses like financial institutions use predictive analytics to determine a consumer’s likelihood of paying back debt. This is the consumer’s credit score. This kind of historical analysis increases profitability for these companies.

4. Your Data Isn’t Working Together

Without big data technologies, it becomes difficult to get different silos of data to work together. The insights you are gathering from your data may be valuable, but not comprehensive. By analysing data across multiple silos, businesses are able to create more complete data insights. Current big data technologies, such as Hadoop, can act as a data hub at the heart of your infrastructure, giving you the ability to store, transform and analyse your data in one place.

5. You’re Struggling To Find The Right Data Tools

If your data analysts are struggling to find the right tools to make use of your data, big data technologies may be able to help. The big data toolset is an ever-expanding ecosystem of technologies. Spreadsheets and one-off data tools are useful for their narrow functionalities, but if your data is big enough to have outgrown these tools, the Hadoop ecosystem of projects can help you get the most value from your data.

6. You Need Insights In Real-Time

Real-time data analysis almost always necessitates the use of big data tools. Conventional data tools are not equipped to handle the storage, measurement and analysis of data in real time. If you need to get real-time access to reliable information about all aspects of your business in order to gain actionable insights, then Hadoop is your answer. The accuracy and dependability of big data tools for providing real-time analysis trumps conventional relational tools every time.

7. You’re Being Left Behind

If your competition is using big data, the odds are that you should, too. Big data is more than an investment; it is a competitive edge. If your competitors have found real business value in big data, then you need to act quickly to avoid being left in the dust. The use of big data is becoming the basis of competition and growth for successful organizations.

8. Your Data Storage Is Getting Too Expensive

The Hadoop big data toolset runs off of commodity hardware, which means that scaling up your data centre doesn’t have to be expensive. If your data storage expansion is becoming too costly, you should be looking at a more scalable big data alternative such as Hadoop.

9. Your Data Is Slowing You Down

In some cases, conventional data tools can drag down your performance. When your data becomes more than then your tools can manage, it can create a noticeable lag. Big data tools give you the ability to access big data sets that are too large to hold in memory or take too long to load, which means you can avoid costly data loss and downtime.


Big data isn’t for everyone, but there are many businesses that don’t realise that they’ve crossed the threshold to where big data toolsets would be a profitable investment. By reviewing these nine indicators, you can better determine whether big data is right for you.

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Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins, VP, EMEA comes to MapR Technologies from IBM/Q1 Labs, where as VP of EMEA for Q1 Labs he guided the successful creation, growth and expansion of a robust European market presence. Jenkins has over 20 years experience within the industry at leading technology companies including Isilon/EMC, F5 Networks, Nortel Networks, Bay Networks and Wellfleet.