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Enterprise architecture for big data -- a dilemma by any definition

Big data is a term that's readily bandied about by marketers, but enterprises undertaking their own information architecture implementation need to know exactly what's meant by big data before proceeding.

This article can also be found in the Premium Editorial Download: CIO Decisions: Enterprise architecture for big data: Build it or buy it?:

Here's a bit of journalism "inside baseball": As an editor, I flinch when I read stories that kick off with an extended definition. It comes off as lazy, relying on a dictionary to do the talking rather than telling the reader what they can hope to learn from the piece.

But the definition of big data that comes early in Senior News Writer Nicole Laskowski's cover story in this month's CIO Decisions ezine is entirely appropriate and really core to understanding the difficulties that CIOs face in making the right decisions around enterprise architecture for big data. Big data is a term that's readily bandied about by marketers looking to cash in on the latest IT trend, but enterprises undertaking their own information architecture implementation need to know exactly what's meant by big data before proceeding to build, buy or even rent the necessary technology to support their business intelligence efforts.

"The journey requires knowing why you're making it in the first place," Laskowski writes. "Forrester advises that before building or buying anything, business and IT leaders drill down into the use cases -- some of which will require a technology investment."

Jonathan Reichental, CIO for the City of Palo Alto, notes that a blend of architecture approaches is often ideal. "If you're a CTO and you're delivering services to the marketplace, more often than not, you're building it," he said. "If it's inward-facing and it's just a dashboard for your financials, you may be using SAP or third-party products to do the reporting."

Also in this issue, we interview Kirsten Wolberg, PayPal's vice president of technology business operations, about her company's move to Agile methodologies that changed the way 510 cross-functional teams operate; run down seven data science lessons from an analytics leader at McGraw Hill Education; and delve into the insecurities surrounding the Internet of Things.

By the way, CIO Decisions recently won a Silver Award for National Ezine from the American Society of Business Publishers and Editors. We hope you'll agree that makes this a must-read IT publication -- by any definition.

Please write to me at rlebeaux@techtarget.com.

This was first published in September 2014

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