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John Paul Cook

Big Data V’s

Originally there were three V’s of Big Data. Doug Laney introduced Volume, Velocity, and Variety as the three V’s of data management in 2001 when he worked for the Meta Group, which was purchased by Gartner in 2005. He did not use the term Big Data in his 2001 publication.

IBM uses the same three V’s and added a fourth B of Veracity no later than 2013. The author Bernard Marr added a fifth V of Value. He describes his five V’s in these slides. Rob Livingstone added Validity and Visibility. In 2013, Doug Laney made the distinction between definitional and aspirational qualities of data. According to Doug, only Volume, Velocity, and Variety are definitional. All other V words are aspirational.

Mike Gualtieri of Forrester in 2012 asserted that Doug’s three V’s are not actionable. Mike offered what he calls a pragmatic definition of Store, Process, and Access.

Neil Biehn when still at PROS (now at Siemens) stated that the fourth and fifth V’s are Viability and Value.

If you are willing to have more than three V’s, Visualization is an obvious V to add and multiple authors have written about it. It’s hard to make sense of Big Data and difficult to derive value or take action if you can’t see what the data is telling you.

I think people should use as few or as many V’s as they find helpful. I will not go so far as to formally propose another V, but I will state that Vexing sometimes fits Big Data. It can be vexing because of the technical issues of Doug’s three V’s and it can be vexing to interpret and act upon.

Published Friday, September 30, 2016 12:08 PM by John Paul Cook

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About John Paul Cook

John Paul Cook is a Data Platform Solution Architect working out of Microsoft's Houston office. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a SQL Server MVP. He is experienced in SQL Server and Oracle database application design, development, and implementation. He has spoken at many conferences including Microsoft TechEd and the SQL PASS Summit. He has worked in oil and gas, financial, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. John is also a Registered Nurse who graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Master of Science in Nursing Informatics and is an active member of the Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society. He volunteers as a nurse at a clinic that treats low income and uninsured patients. Contributing author to SQL Server MVP Deep Dives and SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2. Opinions expressed in John's blog are strictly his own and do not represent Microsoft in any way.

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