Thursday, 25 October 2012

How Scary Is Your Data?

Soon it will be Halloween. It's a time of ghosts, ghouls and demons. But all of that pales into insignificance when compared to the truly terrifying reality of kids running around the streets pumped up on chocolate, sugar and energy drinks!!!! And to celebrate the witching hour, here is my list of halloween data horrors... Don't say I didn't warn you... Mouhahahahaaaaaa!!!!

Undead data
This is the ancient data that you did not kill off. It served it's purpose years ago, and you archived it, but did not delete it. It lies in it's crypt waiting... waiting.. for the sun to set. If your regulators find out, it's you who will get it in the neck.

Alien data
It comes from another world (cue 50's b-movie music)... namely that company you have outsourced your data collection to. But you forgot to include data quality and governance standards in the agreement. And now you have data that is taking up all your resources trying to make sense of it. no-one can agree on the results and your whole organisation is paralysed.

Frankenstein data
They wanted to know diabolical things about your organisation, and they didn't care about how you did it. You could not find any documentation on your data sources, and they would not pay for a profiling tool. So you bolted and stitched huge amounts of unrelated data together to create an abomination. Deep into the night, you worked feverishly until finally you hysterically cried, "It lives, it lives".... All were amazed how you could breathe life into dead data and you reaped rewards. But deep down, you know it's only a matter of time before it either comes apart or brings your whole organisation crashing down around you.

Zombie systems
Those legacy systems died years ago. But someone keeps digging them up and re-animating them. Whoever did it, they certainly seem to have lost their BRRAAAIIIINS!!!

Godzilla data
No-one knows how or why they asked for it, but now it's here, and it's just too big. The scale is massive. All your IT staff run away screaming while it crushes servers and tangles networks. This big, 'Godzilla' data is requiring some other monster called 'Hadoop' to sort it out. They were last seen fighting off the coast of Java.

I hope you enjoyed my tales of data horror. Sleep well, now.. Pleasant dreams.... Mouhahahaaaa!!

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