Are feeling a little disillusioned with big data? I recently heard the term, “big junk” as a way of explaining what is in your big data lake. I’m a bit saddened by this turn of events. Truth be told, like any framework or tool, its real power is reflective in the abilities of it users. Big data is a just a way of storing mass amounts of data and IT is good at setting up the infrastructure and enabling you to access all of the data you are capable of gathering. What you do with it is really the question? I can see why some people would think that all of their big data solutions are not being utilized effectively and every day they seem to be one step away from real actionable insight and intelligence. Your ability to harness the insight and intelligence in your data streams comes from the paradigms, skill sets and business questions of your data scientists and analysts. Similar to the early days of programming, garbage in equals garbage out. Begin with the right question in mind and everything of value will follow. Not much different than alchemists of old, turning data lead into data gold takes passion, skill and patience.