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3.7 out of 5 stars17
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 14 November 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This offering from the Dummies series introduces the reader to Big Data, providing an introduction and overview of the concepts and key industry participants.

This is a surprisingly detailed introduction which assumes a reasonable existing knowledge of IT and data analysis. Without getting too bogged down in industry specifics (ie. why big data may be relevant for social media, financial markets, logistics amongst others) the authors introduce various concepts pertinent to big data, explaining the products and solutions which exist to solve the problems.

I found it highly informative (in particular understanding exactly what Hadoop is) and would recommend this book as a good introduction on the subject, for anyone who wants an answer to the questions "What is Big Data?" or "What is Hadoop"

Where it is does possibly lack is two areas:
- How is Big Data different to existing technologies and solutions. The authors frequently refer to Big Data analysis as being possible due to the reduced cost in infrastructure and storage, but I felt the history of database technology was a little unclear
- Examples are included of voting/buying patterns and social media but generally I thought examples were a little thin on the ground
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on 18 November 2014
The topic of big data is not exactly an elementary one, so you can't expect miracles from a For Dummies book, unlike with some other topics which the series lends itself to, (such as for picking up a particular programming language or software application). This book is very wordy with plenty of jargon and buzz words but seemingly without imparting any knowledge. I came away from reading the book cover to cover without feeling like I had learnt anything.

Perhaps it just isn't possible to explain 'big data' in anything more than a superficial way without the reader having a strong knowledge and understanding of prerequisite concepts such as relational databases, SQL, data storage, and networking etc. It's a bit like trying to teach calculus to someone just by using words and no mathematical notation. In this respect it seems a bit misleading to write a For Dummies book on the subject with the impression that the reader will learn something.

The book at least provides some kind of context for a lot of the jargon, explaining at least superficially what Hadoop, Hive, No-SQL, etc. are so it might be of some help if you are completely oblivious to what any of those things are, but I don't see any value in the book beyond that. It was somewhat useful to me in this respect about a year ago when I bought it, but I don't think it justified the cost of buying a new book; a pamphlet would probably have sufficed, and would have saved me a good few hours of reading quite repetitive prose.

I think I was partly suckered in to buying this because of the title and it being a recently published book on a hot topic, but overall I would find it hard to think of anyone who would benefit much from reading this book.
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VINE VOICEon 22 August 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Every one is banging on about big data and it can sound daunting - but after reading this I am pretty sure I've got a grasp of the major concepts, some of the pitfalls (its WILL NOT solve everything ) and how it could give some smart businesses a serious competitive advantage because they will know their customers almost better than they will know themselves.

It's broken down into clear sections with the usual 'dummies' key facts - just the job if you need to get up to speed on this subject and need to understand the basics
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VINE VOICEon 13 October 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a good high level review of what Big Data is about, the infrastructure and technologies needed to use it and ways of introducing it into an organisation. It's not enough to create a Big Data environment on its own but it will highlight the areas that you may need to learn more about and where to focus your efforts. It also highlights some of the issues that may arise and the cost options involved (e.g. use of public/private/hybrid clouds). It's readable, the diagrams are clear and effective and for anyone just wanting to find out what all the excitement around Big Data really involves it's a great starting point. I can't help but think that a little bit more hands-on detail would have made it even better, hence only 4 stars.
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VINE VOICEon 31 March 2016
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As always with "For Dummies" books, this book is pretty specifically written - examples from certain industries, certain software and so on - this makes it date really fast. The GOOD thing is that where this is done, it's kept minimal - I guess just to act as signposting for people in those sectors - it's certainly not intrusive. The software/etc will date quickly, however. I'm an academic - a bacteriologist - by trade and I wanted to look at this book to help me with handling big and fairly-big data - not something I have much experience with doing and what I do myself I don't necessarily do "properly" as I do it the way that works for me, which isn't necessarily the right way - my hopes were that this book would help to put this right.

Whilst "For Dummies" books are usually considered entry-level, this book assumes a very strong knowledge of data analysis and perhaps a higher understanding than most books in the series that I've made use of thus far.

The book covers in sufficient detail all the core areas of big data storage, handling and use - from Hadoop to Hive and SQL to No-SQL - for me, it gave me enough information and covered the stuff i needed to know. For a more general reader, it's pitched way, way too high. This is far from a "For Dummies" book in that sense and I felt they were perhaps trying to get onto the bandwagon of a hot topic rather than aiming at a good book.

Looking back at the book a year later, it's already dating. I'm not sure it'll be of any use in 1-2 more years.
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on 12 February 2016
This is a very poorly written book and does not subscribe to what is expected of the "for dummies" franchise. This is not a book written for dummies, it's a book written by IT people for IT people. There is no hand holding, jargon is liberally thrown around without explanation from the outset, there is little to no thread in the narrative and it doesn't really lead anywhere. I'm up to the 5th chapter and haven't learned a thing apart from seeing various buzzwords I already knew about written in very small type on the pages of the preceding chapters. Contrast this with the excellent "for dummies" books I've also purchased recently (Hadoop for Dummies and R for Dummies) which are infinitely superior. This particular book needs to be pulled and completely re-written for people outside of the clique that this one was clearly written for.
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on 11 June 2013
The book explains the main ideas of "big data". There are brief introductions to common tools like MapReduce as well as discussions on "applying big data within your organisation".

It's more of a business manager's overview rather than stepping stone to something more technical (if you want general ideas and buzzwords it is a great buy).

The book is not a hands-on guide. It doesn't contain code (other than not-quite-pseudo-code) nor e.g. step by step instructions on a toy Hadoop setup. I.e. if you've actually got some data to crunch and want to use, say an existing network of commodity PCs (like your colleagues' desktops overnight!) then this is not the book for you!
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on 25 October 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book introduces most of the main concepts about Big Data - a buzz phrase that has found itself at the top of tree in recent years. Speaking as a non-techy, there was stuff that still went over my head, despite the tried and tested Dummies format (maybe I am still *that* much of a dummy!) but there were parts that were tailored to practical business application and would equip you as a BA or PM with the knowledge to consider whether any of the big data principles could work in your organisation. It makes for good reading and demystifies some of the murk that surrounds this hot topic. Definitely recommended as a starting point.
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on 2 August 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is a very good introduction to `big data', covering a lot of ground at a fairly high level. It will give you a good appreciation of the subject but you will need other books to study the detail in areas of most interest to you. That said, I suspect that many people will find the coverage in this book comprehensive enough; for instance if you do not need to get involved in the nitty gritty of implementing systems to support `big data'.

You may find this book gives you everything you need on the subject. But if it doesn't it is a very good starting point.
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VINE VOICEon 22 August 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I work in sales selling to IT Managers and CTO's and Big Data is the latest buzz word that I keep hearing. This book is a really good intro to the subject for those who have little or no information about it so far.

The subject is dealt with at high level so it makes it easy to understand but there is no real detail (as in code etc so you may have to do further reading if this is what you're after).

As an introduction and to understand what is around the hype then this is a really good start.
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