Big Data Wisdom Courtesy of Monty Python

Big Data Wisdom Courtesy of Monty Python by Rik Tamm-Daniels.

From the post:

One of our favorite parts of the hilarious 1975 King Arthur parody, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, is the “Bridge of Death” scene: If a knight answered the bridge keeper’s three questions, he could safely cross the bridge; if not, he would be catapulted into… the Gorge of Eternal Peril!

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to most of King Arthur’s knights, who were either stumped by a surprise trivia question like, “What is the capital of Assyria?” – or responded too indecisively when asked, “What is your favorite color?”

Fortunately when King Arthur was asked, “What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?” he wisely sought further details: “What do you mean – an African or European swallow?” The stunned bridge keeper said, “I don’t know… AAAGH!” Breaking his own rule, the bridge keeper was thrown over the edge, freeing King Arthur to continue his quest for the Holy Grail.

Many organizations are on “Big Data Holy Grail” quests of their own, looking to deliver game-changing business analytics, only to find themselves in a “boil-the-ocean” Big Data project that “after 24 months of building… has no real value.” Unfortunately, many CIOs and BI Directors have rushed into hasty Hadoop implementations, fueled by a need to ‘respond’ to Big Data and ‘not fall behind.’

That’s just one of the troublesome findings from a recent InformationWeek article by Doug Henschen, Vague Goals Seed Big Data Failures. Henschen’s article cited a recent Infochimps Big Data survey that revealed 55% of big data projects don’t get completed and that many others fall short of their objectives. The top reason for failed Big Data projects was “inaccurate scope”:

I don’t disagree with the need to define “success” and anticipated ROI before the project starts.

But if it makes you feel any better, a 45% rate of success isn’t all that bad, considering the average experience: Facts and Figures, a summary of project failure data.

A summary of nine (9) studies, 2005 until 2011.

One of the worst comments being:

A truly stunning 78% of respondents reported that the “Business is usually or always out of sync with project requirements”

Semantic technologies are not well served by projects that get funded but produce no tangible benefits.

Project officers may like that sort of thing but the average consumer and business leaders know better.

Promoting semantic technologies in general and topic maps in particular mean successful results in the eyes of users, not ours.

Comments are closed.