Is it Big Data?

Is it Big Data?

As a write this my mind runs rampant through a sea of gems which I’d love to drop into my contribution to the D&D weekly blog. However it would appear that the most constant thoughts are that of why we, as a team, have chosen to continue to contribute as much as we can to the healthcare industry and Big data.

I am frequently asked for my opinion on Big Data, I would say at least 3 times each month. However I am yet to be sure that my view on Big Data in healthcare is accepted by my expert industry colleagues as one they would agree with. So I thought I’d share this with you our readers to get your opinion.  In many of the events I speak at each year, I frequently try to provide a different view of Big Data through the use of the Rorschach test. My application of the Rorschach test considers Doctors, nurses and administrators in healthcare and proposes that irrespective of the volume of data they all handle each day. Their approach or perception of Big Data becomes relative to their appreciation and skillset in using data. For example I believe that:

> Administrators gravitate to the use of data as it underpins much of what they do – irrespective of volumes.

> Nurses tend to approach data with some apprehension and less enthusiasm (in my experience).

> Whereas doctors seem to love looking at variation, accuracy and benchmarking using this data.

But let’s forget my views for a second and consider the industry definition, which says “Big Data’ is a blanket term for any collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications. The challenges include capture, curation, storage, search, sharing, transfer, analysis and visualization.”  This definition triggers so many questions for me, how big is big? What if your on-hand database is Hadoop does it become small data? – Now I’m just messing around.

We have made it our duty to help organisations to simplify data implementing software like QlikView which changes the perception of Big data in health. QlikView is not a convention BI tool which means that. To some extent QlikView has become the “On-hand database and visualisation tool” which the Wikipedia definition referred to. Does this mean that big data will change to something else in those organisations?

In an age of endless advances in social media, dating, wearable tech, 3D printing, bitcoin, dashboards, stock market crashes, winners, losers (guess they have always been around) and start-up mania. There are a few things which, not only fill me with nostalgia but forces me to assess where we are and dare to imagine what is to come.  We will continue to challenge the status quo and help to redefine definition though our contribution in healthcare.

Let’s get those views.


– Orlando Agrippa

Draper & Dash