Should I start exploring Big data technology?




I have started learning Business Analytics practices and methods using SAS but recently heard a lot about Big data. Articles referring most exciting career in next 2 or 3 years. Companies are using and will use extensively for more granular decision making and it is helping business very well. Should I rethink and shift my focus to Big data because currently I have fair understanding about business analytics methods?




Interesting question. I would actually recommend to first become more proficient with business analytics before starting your journey on Big Data tools and techniques. Especially, you should pick up on at least one open source language stack.

Before I mention the best way for you going forward, let us understand the penetration of Big Data tools and techniques in India.

Penetration of Big Data Analytics in India:
Currently, in India, there are a limited number of companies using Big Data technologies and stacks. These are mainly e-commerce players. A few banks and telecom players have started experimenting with them, but it is very early days to say that they are using Big Data technologies. So, until and unless you have good data science experience, it is difficult to get a break in Big Data analytics positions.

Suggested learning path:

  1. Along with SAS, you should learn one open source language like R or Python. The reason is that SAS is a closed system and charges very heavily for its big data solutions. Hadoop and other open source systems provide a more cost effective solution.

  2. Once you are comfortable with basics techniques and tools, participate in a few Kaggle competitions. While not using Big data techniques directly, you will find enough knowledge to handle huge datasets using specific tools and techniques through the forums.

  3. Once you have participated in a few competitions, you can look at learning Big Data tools and techniques.

Hope that helps.