Month: January 2014

Big data comes of age

It’s too easy these days to be tired of big data, with all the defining and redefining, marketing, and Hadooping. I can’t help but think to myself, “Just shut up and do it!” Of course, some organizations have gone and done it. Now a new report from TDWI Research describes the common stages they go through on the way to making big data a permanent part of their toolset.

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My latest in Information Management: “‘Sexy'” Data Science is a Team Sport”

The word got out last year: data scientist is the “sexiest job,” a late-2012 declaration by the renowned Tom Davenport of “Competing on Analytics” fame. Trouble is, “sexy” goes bad faster than fish.

“Data scientist,” still fresh, is my word of the year. In 2013, the data analysis industry discovered it, many loved or hated it, but most of all, we repeated it. Google Trends shows the mention of it soaring like the 1990s Dow Jones Industrial Average — and you know what happens next.

Alert as data scientists are to patterns, I wonder if many don’t shudder at the “sexy” label. If so, they might have had some comfort from a discussion around the big table at the Pacific Northwest BI Summit. There, calm conversation displaced the industry’s noise around the topic for nearly two hours last summer.

Read the rest of it here, on the Information Management site.

“Going forward” has been discontinued

The Datadoodle vice president of diction has issued an order.

Actually, he’s fed up. The other day in the break room, he was seen holding his head in his hands as if it were about to burst from the absorbed vacuity. It’s an occupational hazard: Every day, he absorbs words and expressions that have no other function than to impress or obfuscate. But we digress.

The order: He has prohibited use of “going forward,” effective now.

The expression “going forward” shall be discontinued immediately. It is meaningless. Urban Dictionary, an acknowledged authority, provides background.

Going forward is purported to mean, “In the future” or “somewhere down the road” when in fact it is an attempt to dodge the use of these words, which generally indicate “I don’t know”. [sic] A newer development in corporate doublespeak, in most companies it is grounds for dismissal to release a press release without mentioning something ‘going forward’. [sic] Going forward, you will likely see this turning up everywhere.

Examples: “Our company expects to make a profit going forward” and
“We don’t expect any layoffs going forward.”

The only exceptions shall be on mugs and shirts. Click here.