Paul Barsch

4 Gotcha’s in Risk Analysis for Big Data Initiatives

Evaluating risk vs. return of a big data initiative can be tricky, especially because the open source market is so active and fluid. Financial risk aside, business risk actually plays the bigger spoiler in properly estimating future cash flows and profitability of a big...

Big Data Projects – When You’re Not Getting the ROI You Expect

Some big data projects keep getting more money pumped into them with the hope that someday they’ll drive financial value. Sadly, according to this analyst firm, for 60% of big data projects, that “eventually” never comes. At some point, good money needs to stop chasing...

A Two-Stage Approach to Gaining Data Lake ROI

Depending on whether you “build” your data lake in the cloud or on premise, it could take anywhere from six months to a year—and in some cases longer to be fully deployed. In our “want it now” culture, this timeframe might be too long...

Big Data ROI in Year 1? Fuggedaboutit

Depending on the size and scope of your forthcoming big data project, in most instances it’s unfair to expect positive cash flows in year one. That’s because in addition to a potentially steep implementation and learning curve, it takes time to master and adopt...

Calculating NPV for Open Source Big Data Projects

Mention the words “open source” and all kinds ideas probably come to mind such as “free”, “agility”, and “speed”. However, with any IT project, it is important to look at business benefits vs. costs in a manner that goes beyond generalizations. One method for...

Forbes: Dark Data? Take A Page From Sherlock Holmes

Gartner defines dark data as “information assets organizations collect, process and store during regular business activities but generally fail to use for other purposes.” Similar in concept to “dark matter,” where invisible forces affect visible celestial objects, data collected by companies goes unnoticed, unused and...

3 Big Data Potholes to Avoid

Potholes—depending on the size—can really damage your automobile tires, rims and alignment. Even worse, sometimes drivers don’t see them lurking, until after an incident occurs. Similarly, a bumpy ride may be in store for companies building out their big data infrastructure, as there are...

If Everyone Uses Public Cloud, Where’s Competitive Advantage?

The rise of public cloud computing is awe-inspiring. Companies like Amazon, via Amazon Web Services, are “turning virtual iron into gold” with exponential growth in revenues and operating income. However, as more companies turn to cloud computing, and use the same applications available from...

Smart Algorithms Will Never Beat Out Rhetoric

In a data driven world, rhetoric is often chastised as “fluffy talk”. In fact, as more organizations adopt a culture based on fact-based decision making, the mantra of “show me the data” is increasingly prevalent. That’s too bad though, because in trying to persuade...

4 Ways to Defeat Dogmatism in Your Company

Unless you’re Donald Trump—a fellow who’s always right, even when he’s wrong—there’s not much benefit to dogmatism. That’s because some of the biggest breakthroughs come as a result of challenging assumptions; especially those that are commonly accepted. Even better, it’s important to put processes,...

A Day Late and Big Data Architecture Short

As humans, we have no problems staying busy. In fact, most of us are wired to “do something first” and ask questions later. In other words, our busyness often comes at the expense of a well thought out plan to tackle projects from the...

Problems with the Language of Probability

The language of probability to statisticians and most scientists is clear—they understand terms such as “correlation”, “statistically significant”, “confidence” and more. However, using probabilistic terminology to communicate the “likelihood” of an event occurring to those untrained in understanding such terms, can in some instances...

Is Your IT Architecture Ready for Big Data?

Built in the 1950s, California’s aqueduct is an engineering marvel that transports water from Northern California mountain ranges into thirsty coastal communities. But faced with a potentially lasting drought, California’s aqueduct is running below capacity as there’s not enough water coming from sources. In terms of...

Changing Your Mind About Big Data Isn’t Dumb

After all the hype about big data and its mental cousin Hadoop, some CIOs are getting skittish about investing additional money in a big data program without a clear business case.  Indeed, in terms of big data it’s OK to step back and think...

Storytelling with the Sounds of Big Data

Trying to internally “sell” the merits of a big data program to your executive team?  Of course, you will need your handy Solution Architect by your side, and a hard hitting financial analysis vetted by the CFO’s office. But numbers and facts probably won’t...

Three Steps to Becoming a Genius Forecaster

Both Ben Bernanke and Edward John Smith got it wrong. They made terrible forecasts that either wrecked the economy, or in the instance of John Edward Smith (his ship).  Forecasting is hard, and even those who sometimes get it right, often fail on a continuous...

Building Information Technology Liquidity

Turbulent markets offer companies both challenges and opportunities. But with rigid and aging IT infrastructures, it’s hard for companies to turn on a dime and respond to fluctuations in supplies and consumer demand. A corporate culture built on agile principles helps, but companies really...

Beware Big Data Technology Zealotry

Undoubtedly you’ve heard it all before: “Hadoop is the next big thing, why waste your time with a relational database?” or “Hadoop is really only good for the following things” or “Our NoSQL database scales, other solutions don’t.” Invariably, there are hundreds of additional...

When Ideology Reigns Over Data

Increasingly, the mantra of “let the data speak for themselves” is falling by the wayside and ideology promotion is zooming down the fast lane. There are dangers to reputations, companies and global economies when researchers and/or statisticians either see what they want to see—despite...

Privacy Ramifications of IT Infrastructure Everywhere

Most people don’t notice that information technology pervades our daily lives. Granted, some IT infrastructure is in the open and easy to spot, such as the computer and router on your desk hooked up via network cables. However, plenty of IT infrastructures are nearly...

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