Big Data and Turkeys

Since a lot of people grumble about the “Big Data” meme — “what is this _big_ data anyhow” — I thought an analogy might help.

Big Data:Data::turkeys:chickens

A turkey is “really” just a big chicken.  Same limbs.  Same white and dark meat, same spices and herbs, similar taste.

But the scale of the turkey introduces new problems and requires new solutions:

  • Will it fit in your oven?
  • Will anything else fit in your oven if the turkey is there?
  • Where will you cook the others things if they won’t fit?
  • Do you have a roasting pan and rack big enough for a turkey?
  • Can you muscle the turkey up and down-stairs to brine it in the cooler (the only place it will fit)?

Ok, I won’t belabor the point: Big Data is different from data because the scale means your old techniques won’t always work.

Have a great holiday.

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