Thursday, June 13, 2013

6 Enterprise capabilities you need prior to taking on big data

Getting started with Big Data is easier than you might think. Ending up in the right place is a lot harder than you probably think. Below are personnel skills (aka enterprise capabilities) that you must have access to prior to embarking on your big data expedition. If you do not have the enterprise capabilities, plan on doing so.
  • System Admin

    Only needed if you are planning on hosting data internally. If using cloud then you can do without.
  • DBA

    Once you have system set up with the right hardware etc, you will need a DBA for curating the data and be the go-to person for the other teams.  DBAs play a big role in integration of different sources.
  • Big Data Engineer

    This is the pivotal role and most of the heavy lifting will be done by this role. This person must have good programming skills with some prior data design experience. Desire to learn and good attitude are a must. Things will get frustrating quickly.
  • Analytics

    Without having analytics and data science skills in your organization there is not much you can get out of your big data efforts.
  • Visualization

    This will have major impact on how the executives view your project. Nothing soothes nervous nerves like a good infographic, pie chart that can be put in front of a prospect or a customer.
  • Security

    This appears to be a nice-to-have. But resist any urge to make it so. You may not have a security expert but do assign this responsibility to another role and provide time and resources to make this happen.
As you can see I am leaving out Hadoop expertise out of the mix since it is hard to get people with that skill set. But if you can find one and will be using Hadoop, do hire them. Why Hadoop? You ask. To borrow an IBM related phrase from the past - "you cannot get fired for choosing Hadoop"

The list is based on my experience and the data life cycle stages.