How to understand big data

Tuesday - 3/4/2014, 10:24pm EST

Keith Boyer, COO, DMG Federal

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March 5, 2014 -- If you type "big data" into Google you get almost two million hits! What good is understanding the subtle differences between structured and unstructured data sets if you can't make sense of it?

Today's interview is with Keith Boyer, the COO of DMG Federal.

He has been involved in helping federal information professionals understand enormous amounts of information for over twenty years. During the interview he gives his perspective on what kind of tools that one can use to make thousands of data points actionable.

The discussion includes references to concepts like Crystal Reports and Oracle. The interview morphed into giving a better understanding of three key products: Tableau Software, Birst, and Kognito.

All three products have varying applications. Tableau is a tool you can use to visualize data. They received the recognition as a leader in the "2013 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms."

During the interview, Boyer differentiates among the varying tools like Tableau, Birst, and Kognito and when to use each one.

The takeaway is that larger vendors like IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle may not have the best solution for data visualization. In fact, their size may make the business intelligence aspect of data warehousing a check box item that doesn't render much value.