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Big Data Management: Work Smarter Not Harder


In the present world, most organizations are largely involved in tasks that generate huge
amounts of data. Data sets are growing exponentially in various domains globally in a way that
makes it hard to manage. This clearly indicates that we are in an era of Big Data. It is reasonable
that data management is the ultimate approach to extract the valuable information from such
massive data sets. Nevertheless, generating accurate outcomes from such large data requires
noticeable efforts, time and finances. This undoubtedly necessitates focusing more on Big Data
management. Now days IT administrators are striving hard to manage Big Data, making more
researchers to focus more on investigating how to manage Big Data. This paper attempts to
highlight issues regarding Big Data management with the idea of working smarter as opposed to

The world has been deluged with various statistics on rapid growth of data to the extent

that the bytes and numbers have become seemingly meaningless. It is clear that data growth is a

trend that cannot be avoided (Brown, 2011). However, the fundamental issue is how businesses

can draw meaningful insights from Big Data in a time when resources are shrinking. Despite the

perceived data value, resource allocation to leverage and manage data has not matched the

growth pace. It is important to employ people with the required skills though it is becoming a

challenge for most industries. Finding people with great analytical skills or who can leverage big

data to draw useful decisions is a headache for industries. This sparks the need for automation so

as to minimize the training and skills needed to manage Big Data. The best approach to address

the skills and resource shortage in Big Data is working harder as opposed to working hard. This

paper basically looks at how businesses can smartly manage Big Data while at the same time

regulating or reducing costs in order for business users to get tangible value from data easily and

Big Data Management: Work Smarter Not Harder 2

Know Your Data

Transforming, moving and making data available to organizations when they need it is a

costly process. With the rapid growth of data as well as the level of waste within the current

paradigm in data management, it is now time to transform data economics. Many businesses

leverage different types of data with huge volumes for projects in data analytics (Lohr, 2012).

However, the exorbitant expenses of not managing data that is dormant is not only on storage but

rather the CPU capacity. Mainly due to the increasing costs regarding CPU capacity licensing.

Often, dormant data slows performance as the process of loading data consumes so much of the


Through offloading dormant data to the cloud for instance, businesses can be able to

dramatically reduce the demand for more CPU capacity, reduce the amount of EDW nodes as

well as significantly reduce maintenance costs. Business should look at grouping applications,

users or data within the context of the business such that they can start analyzing utilization then

assign accountability through show back or charge back. Identifying dormant data in business

recovers more storage capacity. It also greatly reduces costs related to transforming and loading

data. If a business does not need specific data anymore, they can finally stop loading it, implying

that the business eliminates a section of ETL processes which consume more of CPU capacity.

The main idea is to obtain EDW visibility so as to learn data that is used and data that is


When enterprises specify the relative costs of loading and maintaining data as well as

demonstrate the amount of Data not being used, a dataset that might have seemed so critical

initially might lose its importance or significance. The underlying request may just lose its
Big Data Management: Work Smarter Not Harder 3

urgency, specifically if the costs to maintain the data emanates from the departmental budgets

and return on investment is not being achieved.

Choose Your Data Platform Wisely

As data grows exponentially, the various platforms that support Big Data need to increase

in terms of size due to the various platforms optimizing various workloads. That is the

justification why placing data within the right platform is crucial to managing data efficiently as

a strategic asset (Needham, 2013). Businesses could achieve significant benefits through

optimizing and modernizing data placement. Not all data in businesses are equal. Some data

exhibit higher values and used for sophisticated analytics while some data is primarily kept for

purposes of regulation while some data cannot fit anywhere between the two. Businesses should

only move datasets to the most ideal platform on the basis of its use case. In addition,

information technology departments ought to make sure that such cost savings are effectively

maintained through provision of chargeback reports occasionally to business lines. Through

highlighting the data being used as well as costs to business users, information technology can

justify migrating data to platforms that are cheap or investing more on information technology


Dont Keep What You Dont Need

Even as businesses migrate their data to the ideal platform, it behooves them to critically

consider if it is necessary to still hold onto particular data sets at all. There is a huge potential to

reduce costs through purging all unused data. Most enterprises have scenarios where some data

in their warehouses rarely receive any analytical query in months. There is a large lot of data

and possible cost savings (Manovich, 2011). For enterprises to ascertain data that is worth
Big Data Management: Work Smarter Not Harder 4

retaining, information technology must be able to analyze the usage of data as well as collaborate

across work groups to classify business data into various categories. For classification of data,

businesses ought to understand what their specific data sets are and what their employees or

customers are using them for. It is then inherent to obtain buy-ins from enterprise stakeholders.

Highlight business usage patterns and collaborate with the patterns to make vital decisions within

an iterative approach. In the long term businesses will be able to receive tangible benefits.

Getting What You Need to Manage Your Data

Effective data management calls for two main capabilities. First, businesses should be

able to integrate and migrate data quite easily across all main relational database systems, cloud,

enterprise data warehouse as well as Big Data platforms. Second, they should also be able to fine

tune performance, reduce costs, optimize data placement with metrics regarding how the

enterprise is utilizing data and platform resources (McAfee, 2012).

Further to obtaining tangible benefits out of data, effective data management allows

information technology organizations to minimize costs associated with Big Data. With an

insight of how data is used, information technology can collaborate with the business to make

decisions that are more informed regarding what data should still be retained and how such data

should be stored as well as data that can be archived or purged. This norm also enables specific

information technology organizations to cap their investments on IT assets within an existing

capacity. Being required to achieve more with less is not a new aspect in information technology.

Organizations ought to make it a norm to work leaner and smarter while dispensing critical

services to the business. The same should be done with Big Data analytics.
Big Data Management: Work Smarter Not Harder 5


This paper, presented insights into Big Data management and the idea of working smart

as opposed to hard. The paper elucidate various approaches that businesses can use to effectively

manage the Data. Furthermore, the paper gave recommendations on each aspect and how

businesses can achieve them. Also, data is growing at such an exponential speed in the current

business environment. However, the relative information technology to support Big Data

operations lags behind significantly. Therefore, there is so much work remaining for researchers

regarding Big Data management so that the world could significantly address Data management

challenges. Finally, with regard to Big Data management, various notable challenges

specifically, maintaining Big Data, Big Data analytics and choosing the right platform are the

most evident challenges that demand the efforts of researchers in future.

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Brown, B., Chui, M., & Manyika, J. (2011). Are you ready for the era of big data? McKinsey

Quarterly, 4(1), 24-35.

Lohr, S. (2012). The age of big data. New York Times, 11.

Needham, J. (2013). Disruptive possibilities: how big data changes everything. OReilly Media,


Manovich, L. (2011). Trending: The promises and the challenges of big social data. Debates in

the digital humanities, 2, 460-475.

McAfee, A., Brynjolfsson, E., Davenport, T. H., Patil, D. J., & Barton, D. (2012). Big data. The

management revolution. Harvard Bus Rev, 90(10), 61-67.