Top critical review
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Buzzword rich and wordy but didn't actually teach me anything.
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.