It’s common to see surveys, polls, and reports showing that “most” organizations are embracing big data. For instance, a 2013 Gartner survey found that 64% of enterprises were deploying or planning big data projects, up from 58% the year before.
But I find these numbers hard to believe, for three reasons. First, they contradict what I’m seeing in the field. Second, they’re inconsistent with the history of technology. Yes, we live in what Ray Kurzweil calls an era of accelerating technological change, but no transformative application or device has ever achieved critical mass within three years. Finally, as Bill Schmarzo of EMC points out, most organizations are still feeling their way into big data. They’re at the low end of what Schmarzo calls the big-data “maturity” spectrum.