Big Data For Dummies
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You will find lots of resources that can help you start making sense of the big data world. Standard organizations are tackling some of the key emerging issues with getting data resources to work together effectively. Open source offerings can help you experiment easily so that you can better understand what is possible with big data. Lots of big data conferences and research groups are out there.

Hurwitz & Associates for big data

Hurwitz & Associates are happy to help you with your questions about big data. They provide training, strategy guidance, blogs, and research services. If you're a big data vendor, they can help you understand customer requirements so that you can position your company and offer products that will meet customer needs.

Big data standards organizations

For big data to mature, standards are required. A number of organizations are working hard to bring vendors together to help move the process forward.

The Open Data Foundation

The Open Data Foundation (ODaF) is a nonprofit organization that is organized to help promote the adoption of global metadata standards as well as the development of open source for the use of statistical data. The organization focuses on improving metadata in the fields of economics, finance, healthcare, education, labor, social science, technology, agriculture, development, and the environment.

The Cloud Security Alliance

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) was established to promote the use of best practices for providing and ensuring security within cloud computing and to educate people about the uses of cloud computing to help secure all other forms of computing. The organization has established the Big Data Working Group (BDWG) to help identify the scalable techniques for data-centric security and privacy problems in big data.

National Institute of Standards and Technology

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a U.S. government agency that focuses on emerging standards efforts. This organization has done a considerable amount of work defining and providing good information on everything from cloud computing to big data. In March 2012, NIST started a big data initiative.

The focus of the new initiative is to help transform the capability of organizations to use big data for scientific discovery, environmental and biomedical research, education, and national security. It will collaborate with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Hybrid Multicore Productivity Research (CHMPR) in convening a big data workshop. The issues to be addressed include

  • State-of-the-art core technologies needed to collect, store, preserve, manage, analyze, and share big data that could benefit from standardization

  • Potential measurements to ensure the accuracy and robustness of methods that harness these technologies

Apache Software Foundation

The Apache Software Foundation provides organizational, legal, and financial support for a broad range of open source software projects. It was founded in 1999 as a membership-based, not-for-profit corporation to ensure that the Apache projects continue to exist beyond the participation of individual volunteers.

One of the organization's key projects is its management of Hadoop. It offers an open source software library that is a standards-based framework for processing large data sets across clusters of computers.


One of the most important standards organizations is OASIS, the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards. It is a nonprofit organization that has started to focus on big data standards. This process is at an early stage, but you should expect that the organization will begin to focus on creating big data standards.

Big data vendor sites

All the major data management vendors offer great resources online. You should check out vendors such as

SAS Institute

This is only a partial list. Hundreds of companies are lining up to provide great big data information. Make sure to check out the blogs of some of these companies' thought leaders.

Big data online collaborative sites

Many emerging groups encourage online collaboration around the topic of big data. LinkedIn has a number of groups worth checking out. In addition, look at the forums sponsored by the Apache Hadoop Initiative.

Big data conferences

Lots of data conferences are out there, and many of them are either initiating new conferences on big data or have big data tracks at their meetings. Here are some examples of the big data conferences that are springing up every day:

  • The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI): Sponsors many conferences, seminars, and educational forums on data warehouses and big data

  • Big Data Conference: Provides analytics and applications for big data

  • Big Data Retail Forum: A conference for companies looking to retailers and consumer goods manufacturers needing to analyze real-time information

  • Hadoop World: Sponsored by O'Reilly

  • O'Reilly Strata and StrataRx

  • StructureData

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Judith Hurwitz is an expert in cloud computing, information management, and business strategy. Alan Nugent has extensive experience in cloud-based big data solutions. Dr. Fern Halper specializes in big data and analytics. Marcia Kaufman specializes in cloud infrastructure, information management, and analytics.

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