Big Data is like teenage sex

There is a saying in the marketing world at the moment and it is quite topical for us as an industry, the saying is:

“Big Data is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it.”

I’m not alone in these thoughts other bloggers have discussed this before and it always makes for good reading when someone outside of the business intelligence world discusses what they actually see.

If you have been in and around BI for many years you will remember the transition, the acronyms and the “BI speak” that has constantly been evolving.

Ten years ago very few people in C-level roles had even heard of business intelligence, let alone the term BI, yet we used it . Then there were the cipher codes (acronyms and jargon) we invented by abbreviating all of the terms or inventing new ones. BI we already mentioned, then there was ETL, BRD, TRD, FPM, CPM, Datamart and many others that sometimes we let slip in front of non-technical clients. Added to this there were also the slogans that we liked to impress people with, such as “one version of the truth” or “real time reporting” and even “self-service reporting”

However, Big Data has to be one right up there with the most creative and befuddling of terminologies that has been invented. Think back to the first time you heard the term and what it actually meant to you. I pictured it as the ones and zero’s being far bigger than in normal data, therefore it was a very fat bytes.

I bet many people who read this will recall as much jargon as I have.

So is it technical people who come up with these terms? I doubt that very much, it is undoubtedly us marketing people who invent “sound bytes” that distinguish what we do from the competition. Our industry is not the only one that re-invents terminology, there used to be something called a bureau service and now that is called “in-the-cloud”.

What are the most unusual terms you have heard in the IT world?