Judging by the amount of information available on big data, I would say that paradoxically that the concept is poorly supported. More of a giant with feet of clay. Let us do for example a Google keyword analysis: “big data” search reveals 829,000,000 results in 0.44 secs. (which means that Google has spend some time about it). Apparently a lot.
The problem reveals after you start browsing the pages. The first 10 pages of results show in all cases either definitions and white papers about big data (very vague and fluffy), either selling links. Virtually there was no value added info on the concept itself (except maybe for the Wikipedia article, which is showing some well structured info at the introduction level).
And then we go. All resources which are published up to page 100 are consisting in what I call “meta-information”, information about information which reduces the meaning below a value-adding level. Actually, the more you read about big data over the web, the less you are likely to be convinced about the topic. I know this sound very semiotically or Foucault like, but my perception became a bit one of a frustrated librarian who cannot put the finger on the concept.
The Bing search engine is a bit more subtle – “only” 13,900,000 results, most of them oriented towards popularization (seminaries, conferences), definitions and selling. Still, hard to put the finger on.
What does this mean for the searcher/analyst of the concept?:
– if it is about commercial concepts, main search engines become very opaque and push upfront definition and selling pages. They are actually serving their advertisers, not the public interest in theoretical research and practical advancements on understanding the concept;
– big data looks more like a marketing fad or as a repackaging of the selling database concept, combined with a cloud approach. Nothing more, nothing less.
I would love to hear your comments, feel free to jump in!