When I first joined YarcData in September 2012, I was fresh out of grad school and new to the tech industry—well, let’s face it, new to the workforce entirely.
I have learned more here than I did in my five years of college. Big Data was a foreign concept to me, someone who spent her time studying Latin literature, not SPARQL queries.
But even as I have familiarized myself with the world around this buzzword, Big Data was never about numbers to me. Working as a product marketer of YarcData’s Urika appliance taught me that analytics is about relationships—how people build social networks, patients react to treatments, and athletes perform better in games.
We all want to do better business, cure more diseases, and catch more bad guys. Big Data is more than the racks in our data centers. Instead it’s about how we use technology to achieve our most essential objectives and solve the most complex problems.
Sure, metrics are important. I certainly don’t want to discount that point. But as much as I love managing YarcData’s social media accounts, all the likes and retweets on Earth don’t amount to anything if they don’t serve a greater purpose than lead generation.
The quality of content that I produce has always been a higher priority than my number of followers, whether I’m writing corporate articles or book reviews for my personal blog. Big Data has become such a bandwagon that we’re all going deaf from its noise, so it’s to up to us to ensure that the information that is being spread doesn’t just regurgitate common talking points but provide real business value.
And although one could argue that my posts on the role that graph analytics could play during wine tasting or the Super Bowl are more fanciful than useful, my response is that looking at data in new and imaginative ways is precisely how we drive innovation.
The folks at YarcData encouraged me to incorporate fun facts about major holidays or online dating into my writing, because they understand the importance of fostering a creative, collaborative community of colleagues (not to mention, forgive my obsession with alliteration!). When the passion of your team reaches petabyte or even exabyte scale, you can get more done, in less time, and actually enjoy doing it!
This is why I’m saddened to write that this will be my last blog for YarcData. I have appreciated my time here immensely, and I will miss everyone whom I had the pleasure to work with. I have made lasting bonds and been part of countless memorable experiences, both of which have meant more to me than I could fathom.
If Big Data is about people not numbers, and relationships not rows and columns, then YarcData is amazing for showing me that. I wish all my colleagues the very best in the future, and I hope that no matter where we end up, we will continue to cheer each other on.
So what does Big Data mean to me? The simple fact that it always has been, and always will be, bigger than data.