Poll Results: Data Scientists split on whether Big Data reached the Hype Peak

The latest KDnuggets Poll showed a split on whether Big Data has reached the Hype Peak, with 47% saying No, and 41% saying Yes. There was a surprisingly big regional difference, with Latin America and Asia (mainly India) most optimistic about Big Data prospects.

By Gregory Piatetsky, Sep 23, 2013.c comments

The previous KDnuggets poll asked:
Has "Big Data" reached the hype peak and is due for decline and disappointment soon?

Among 308 voters, the results were

  • 46.8% voted - No, "Big Data" trend will continue and its benefits are real
  • 12.7% voted - Not sure
  • 40.6% voted - Yes, "Big Data" benefits are overhyped, and disillusionment will come soon

The regional breakdown was quite interesting, and showed a surprisingly large diversity, with Latin American and Asian (mainly Indian) voters most optimistic about Big Data, while Australian and East European most pessimistic. US and W. European voters had very similar response, with about 47% in both regions thinking that Big Data has not reached the Hype Peak yet, and about 40% saying it did.

Since previous KDnuggets polls showed that US and Europe data scientists have the most experience with Big Data, perhaps the lower level of Big Data scepticism in Latin America and Asia is due to Big Data technology (and hype) arriving there later, so it is on the earlier part of the hype cycle there? This, however, does not explain why East Europe has the highest level of doubts on "Big Data".

Region % No, Big Data has not reached Hype Peak % Not sure % Yes, Big Data has reached Hype Peak
Latin America  55%  36%  9%
Asia  59%  11%  30%
Africa/Middle East  50%  17%  33%
US/Canada  47%  12%  41%
W. Europe  46%  14%  40%
Australia/NZ  25%  0%  75%
E. Europe  19%  13%  69%

Note: the bar height is proportional to the number of votes.


Ross Bettinger, Big Data Hype
There is an urban legend that is apropos to the question of Big Data being hype or not.

When the Prime Minister asked of a new discovery, 'What good is it?', Michael Faraday, the 19th century English physicist, 'What good is a new-born baby? It has to grow up first.'

IMHO, Big Data is in its infancy. When the field becomes more mature, it will begin to produce many more useful results than it has to this point.

ravila, Big Data Hype
There is no question that the combination of inexpensive computing resources with the digitization of many facets of human activity are enabling data analysis of unprecendented scale.
There is indeed a hype around "Big Data" but the instant payoff for doing "Big Data" is just not apparent so the hype will die down without a massive crash. It is most likely that "Big Data" will be incorporated into already established enterprise budgets and planning. The "Big Data" message is not for some radical new business model that will make you instantly rich, have a monopoly and execute a mind boggling IPO. Unlike say the e-tailers and all the other idiot ".coms" during the internet bubble of the early 2000's.

Then very intelligent people were convinced they were going to make millions buy just putting up a website to sell something like dog food.

Will Dwinnell, "Big Data"
There's no question that analysis of very large data sets will yield benefits- That's been the message of data mining all along. Though the "big data" label has fostered greater interest in our work outside the technical community, it has also been an unnecessary distraction. It is *yet another* empty marketing term which adds nothing to the vocabulary.