When looking at Big Data the first question is always 'where do I start?' for software vendors the answer to a company is simple 'by buying software', but then the answer from software vendors to any question is 'by buying software'. The real answer is the answer to most questions about IT investments 'where it delivers value' and for Big Data this means the questions that you want answered as a business that you can't answer today because your current BI infrastructure cannot be cost efficiently scaled to the required volumes.
At Capgemini we recommend that companies look at this from an Information Use Case perspective this details where the value will be delivered to the business, the decisions that will be improved, the analytics required and the sources of information needed to answer the questions to reach the decision. By starting with this value and understanding where Big Data will genuinely improve your business performance you remove the problems associated with IT technology led programs, namely a pretty demo and flashing lights but no clarity as to how its of use to anyone.
The Information Use Case approach is about understanding the decisions, question and sources of information and having a standardised structured way of representing the business value that information generally will deliver and where Big Data or Predictive Analytics are required to deliver on that value.
Big Data starts with the problem, the technology is part of the solution.