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December 2012 Vol. 11 No. 10

Vendor surveys, analyst predictions and other piffle

Vendor surveys and surveys conducted by analysts at the big IT think tanks offer a steady stream of predictions and technical observations, but is any of it useful? It's survey season once again, and it seems as if every vendor and analyst firm has some new tale to spin based on numbers gleaned from polling IT pros or perhaps just plucked out of thin air. Try this one on for size: Gartner says 4.4 million IT jobs -- 1.9 million of them in the U.S. -- will be created by 2015 in support of big data. Wow, right? But wait, there's more. The press release announcing this employment windfall goes on to say, "Every big data-related role in the U.S. will create employment for three people outside of IT, so over the next four years a total of 6 million jobs in the U.S. will be generated by the information economy." So, something called "big data" that nobody seems to be able to actually define will create millions of jobs in just a few years. For all we know, Gartner might be using a pretty loose definition of big data that could include...

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