27
May 2012
AUTHORMike Benner
CATEGORY

Books, Data

COMMENTSNo Comments

Book Review: Facts Are Sacred: The power of data

Facts are Sacred: The power of dataFacts are Sacred: The power of data by Simon Rogers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well written book that is stuffed with seemingly useless data until the author ties it altogether. The Guardian has always been at the forefront of data journalism and this book gives some insight to why that is. Quick read that is a must for any data junkie.

View all my reviews

15
May 2012
AUTHORMike Benner
CATEGORY

Books, Data

COMMENTSNo Comments

Book Review: Design Great Data Products

Designing Great Data ProductsDesigning Great Data Products by Jeremy Howard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Very quick read but the content was light and not that satisfying. Some decent high level stuff on the “Drive Train Approach” but overall I would only pick this up if you are looking for a quick read while your kids are playing at the park.

View all my reviews

30
Apr 2012
AUTHORMike Benner
CATEGORY

Data, MongoDB, NoSQL

COMMENTS1 Comment

Code Magazine Introduction to Mongo Article

MongoDBRecently I wrote my first article for a publication. What an experience that was. Writing on a blog almost no one reads has much less pressure than writing for a magazine that actual has a readership. The article itself was relatively easy but I learned my fair share for the editing process, which I need to write up later. In the mean time, here is the link to my article.

Introducing a huMONGOus Database

30
Apr 2012
AUTHORMike Benner
CATEGORY

Books, Data, MongoDB

COMMENTSNo Comments

Php And Mongo Db Web Development Beginner’s Guide

Php And Mongo Db Web Development Beginner's GuidePhp And Mongo Db Web Development Beginner’s Guide by Rubayeet Islam
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a great book for those looking to get their feet wet with MongoDB. PHP And MongoDB covered many more topics than many of the MongoDB books I have read recently and while I am not a PHP developer gave me a few more ways to leverage MongoDB in my day to day work.

I especially enjoyed the chapters on Geospatial functionality and the GridFS system. Both of these topics we handled throughly and are typically glossed over in other books.

The one place I felt this book was light was the operations and administration side of things. Nowadays, many developers are handling operations as well and I feel that those topics could be explored further in books like this.

All in all, I would recommend anyone in web development looking for somewhere to start with MongoDB pick up this book and give it a read.

View all my reviews

30
Apr 2012
AUTHORMike Benner
CATEGORY

Books, Data, MongoDB, NoSQL

COMMENTSNo Comments

Seven Databases in Seven Weeks

Seven Databases in Seven Weeks: A Guide to Modern Databases and the NoSQL MovementSeven Databases in Seven Weeks: A Guide to Modern Databases and the NoSQL Movement by Eric Redmond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Seven Databases in Seven Weeks is a great book for giving you an overview of the latest databases in the different segments out there. It is definitely an entry level chapter on each system that will let you know whether or not to pursue it further with more in depth material.

Anyone curious about what is available besides the de facto SQL standard offerings should give this book a read.

View all my reviews

31
Jul 2011
AUTHORMike Benner
CATEGORY

Data, General, NoSQL

COMMENTSNo Comments

What Exactly Does Big Data Mean?

Every time I get into a discussion with someone on the topic of “Big Data” it seems to diverge into one of a handful of subtopics.  Whether it is what size is considered big data, what technology must you be using to be considered big data and what problem are you trying to do with your data.  These are all great buzz worthy topics but does it matter what technology you are using or truly how big your data is?

When it comes to the size of your data everyone will (and should) have a different definition of big.  Really what makes data big is dependent on the resources you have available to manage that data.  With this in mind Walmart or Facebook and their data make what I deal with tiny.  Does that mean I don’t experience similar challenges to them?  No.  While their  task is far larger and greater scope than mine, they also have deeper wallets, more personel and greater technology resources.  So just because you aren’t dealing in Petabytes doesn’t mean you are not dealing with big data.

NoSQL and Hadoop are a requirement for being in the big data space right?  I mean after all that is why those tools where invented and if you aren’t using them to solve your problems then you clearly haven’t entered into the big data space.  While those tools can be useful (or even detrimental) they are not required to be in the big data space.  MySQL, Postgres and the others have been around for ever and people have been using them to solve their data problems without the other tools.  Hell, I know of one company that deals with what I would call Gigantic Data and does it all in flat files (although I guess those are the original NoSQL solution).  It is not the tools you are using, it is how you are using them and what you are trying to accomplish.

Which brings us to what I think the real problem is, what are you trying to solve?  Or better yet what question are you trying to answer.  If you don’t really know, then you are data warehousing and most likely dealing with archiving big data sets but not really in what I would call the big data space.  This is where I think things get muddy for most.  To me all the new tools at our disposal and the fact that storage is so damn inexpensive is causing us to archive everything and we don’t know why, but we have a gut instinct that it will be worth something someday or it holds the answer to some unknown question.  Both of those maybe true, but the data isn’t the piece that is truly valuable, it is the unknown question that will bring value.

“Big Data” is asking your data set for an answer to a question and getting that answer as quickly as possible.