Disruptive Possibilities: How Big Data Changes Everything – Book Review

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 3.10.30 PMBig Data is one of the buzz-phrases that has become popular in recent years, especially in tech and business circles. Even though I am not a big fan of jargon and overhyped terminology, there are several real industry developments that justify the use of this particular term. With the ever increasing number of connected devices and sensors, the amount of data available for analysis has skyrocketed. This data has severely challenged the computing paradigms that were relevant just a decade ago, and forced a development of a whole new set of tools and technologies.

Big Data is a catch-all term for a wide variety of concepts and paradigms, and its protean nature allows for many different interpretations. So with that in mind, and due to to its vague title, I was not sure what to expect out of this short book. It turns out that this was really a (short) book length essay on various IT/ Big Data topics that the author finds important. The bulk of it talks about Hadoop, its history, and the origin of need for such a tool in enterprise. It’s a *very* bird’s-eye perspective, and you will not find any technological specifics here. The author also rails a lot against the “silos” model of division of labor/services in enterprise setting and strongly promotes the view that the optimal setup for most enterprises is centered around small teams of IT generalists who can understand the whole system on all of its levels. The author doesn’t provide any strong evidence to support any of his claims, and the book for the most part feels like a polemic. Nonetheless, it still manages to offer several grains of wisdom that can give one a better sense of the “big picture” of big data.


Bojan Tunguz

Bojan Tunguz was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which he and his family fled during the civil war for the neighboring Croatia. Over the past two decades he has studied, lived and worked in the United States. He is a theoretical physicist with degrees from Stanford and University of Illinois. Tunguz has taught physics at several prominent liberal arts colleges and has been writing about physics, science and technology for more than a decade. He also has a wide spectrum of interests, and reads and writes about current events, society, culture, religion and politics. Over the years he has reviewed many of the books that he has read, and posted his reviews on various online outlets. In 2011 he had become a top 10 reviewer on Amazon.com, where he continues to be very active. Aside from reading and writing, Tunguz enjoys traveling, digital photography, hiking, and fitness. He resides with his wife in Indiana. You can follow my review updates on the following pages as well: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tunguzreview Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tunguzreviews Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104312842297641697463/posts

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