Big Data for Dummies. Big Daddy for Geniuses.

[The following is a guest post from our partner company Riparian Data and new intern and data-ist Brennan Full. Happy to have you on board, Brennan!]

I first heard the words “big data” while listening to the radio at the gym, the host’s voice guiding me over the precipice of a “hill” on my humming elliptical.  The words immediately brought me back to my “Sandler period” where Big Daddy was watched on repeat until one had reached comedic enlightenment.  It wasn’t until the 3rd mention of “zettabytes” that I finally came around and realized that this conversation was concerning the mountains of data humans create every day.  Disappointed, I changed the station. Months later, looking for marketing opportunities I came across an opening at Riparian Data, a company that works with “big data”.   Again, the flashbacks returned; Scuba Steve, tripping people in Central Park, teaching Rob Schneider how to read… I have got to find a way to work there!

Before my interview I began researching the company, shocked to find out that I was horribly mistaken/illiterate and that Riparian Data in fact had nothing to do with the magnum opus of my childhood.  I sat for hours, researching, working desperately to understand what this emerging technological field was all about.  Hours passed and I was no closer to grasping NoSQL.  Dejected, I turned to my worn copy of Big Daddy.  As I slowly descended into a meditative state it hit me, BIG DATA AND BIG DADDY AREN’T COMPLETELY DISSIMILAR!

You see, much like shapeless masses of data, Sandler’s character lacks purpose, that is until someone comes around and gives the data/“daddy” meaning.  Big data is the collection and analysis of the information we’re all constantly generating as we text, tweet, buy things, use GPS, etc.  This incomprehensible mountain of information would lack significance if not for the tools brought about by big data.  This, ladies and gentlemen is how my warped mind came to understand what big data is all about.

Thanks for having me on board Riparian Daddy!

NOTES: I never went through a Sandler period, I never use an elliptical, and I’m fairly certain Rob Schneider was acting like he couldn’t read.

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