Gartner continues its belief that Big Data is in a “trough”


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It was good advice. The problem with traditional quantitative research firms like Gartner is that what applied yesterday does not apply tomorrow. Recently, Gartner held its Gartner Business Intelligence & Analytics Summit. Gartner advertised that it was being led by one of its  research vice president, and co-lead on Big Data, Mr. Mark Beyer. Like his colleague, Ms. Svetlana Sicular, a research director, both of them are trying to back-pedal on Ms. Sicular’s proposition that Big Data is in a “trough of disillusionment”.

Both are wrong, again!

Gartner assumes that a market enters the “trough” at 15-20% market adoption. This cannot be the case. 2013 represents a year of nascent adoption of Big Data. I would argue that Big Data adoption represents less than one-tenth of one percent of the IT market. Using Gartner’s own predictions, by 2017, Big data would represent less than 2% of the IT market. So how can they argue that we’re in a “trough”.

The reality is simple, large quantitative research firms like Gartner, are struggling to maintain relevancy. Their so-called “conversations with [end-user] customers” represent a relatively small percentage of end-users who make up a relatively small percentage of the overall market.

Those following the market will easily recognize that Gartner end-user clients are the largest of the Fortune 500 or Global 1000 firms. They are extraordinarily unlikely to take Gartner’s word alone on the technologies in which to invest. Smaller enterprises are unlikely to invest in Gartner’s programs, nor are they likely to make capital expenditures based on Gartner’s sole advice.

So, Gartner’s view is skewed. Gartner’s so-called relationship with end-users is skewed. Ultimately, who cares? Big Data will replace the likes of Gartner with analysis of a complete market, not a surveyed or sampled market.

Defending the “trough” is digging further into a hole.