Why can't we seem to do more with big data?

Booz Allen Hamilton says big data and the cloud are not pipe dreams; they just need some help.

In a new report this week called "Delivering on the Promise of Big Data and the Cloud," Booz Allen Hamilton executives Mark Jacobsohn and Joshua Sullivan say the possibilities of big data and the cloud are not pipe dreams, but they will not be fulfilled on their own.

They said that what is holding us back from realizing its full potential is not technology, but a mindset. "We are locked into an outmoded approach to data, one that relies on techniques created well before big data arrived on the scene."

One hindrance, they say, is a lack of complete access to the data. Analysts are unable to track overall trends, see entire patterns or ask complex questions.

In an ongoing collaboration with the United States government, Booz Allen has created a cloud analytics reference architecture to leverage big data in the search for terrorists and other threats. Intelligence analysts are now using it to paint a comprehensive picture that incorporates the full range of intelligence data. This architecture, if adapted to the broader business community, could solve the data access problem, the company said.

The reference architecture opens up access to big data sets and allows analysts to search for overarching patterns and ask intuitive questions, rather than limiting them to narrowly defined queries within data sets. It also could make it possible for non-computer experts, for the first time, to frame the questions, look for patterns and follow hunches.

For more:
- see the Booz Allen Hamilton paper

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