When chipping away at the myth of big data a crucial point to understand is that "big" is not the important thing. Mark Madsen wants to make clear that warehousing quantities of data by the terabyte is a trivial pursuit on a grand scale and usually wasteful. Beyond that, even the fact that it's data is not really that big of a deal.
According to Madsen, what matters are concrete and useful manifestations of that data. Fascinating, charts, graphs, and presentations in one's favorite Adobe software application could be about as useful as the best tabloid journalism, if not directed by a clear vision of its potential.
Madsen covers a lot of ground in scraping away some myths surrounding the current affinity for industrial-sized data arrays. He analyzes the data warehousing architecture has having three basic levels. These levels he believes should inform best practices: Strategic, Tactical, and Operational. Decisions and communications vary between the levels, with each level requiring different data requirements tailored to specific goals.
Mark Madsen is a former CTO and CIO with experience working in both IT and vendors, including a stint at a company used as a Harvard Business School case study. Over the past decade Mark has received awards for his work in data warehousing, business intelligence and data integration from the American Productivity & Quality Center, the Smithsonian Institute and TDWI. He is co-author of "Clickstream Data Warehousing" and lectures and writes about business intelligence, emerging technology and data integration.
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Photo: Mark Madsen