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Herbert Hoover aimed to win the U.S. presidency in 1928 by promising prosperity with slogans such as “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.” One wonders why houses had garages before cars were ubiquitous, of course.

More seriously, one also wonders about the plausibility of getting a chicken into every pot each night, and the wisdom of promising automobiles to a population mostly lacking mechanical inclination. This was a time when elevators required full-time operators after all.

Following my presentation at the Waters Technology “Big Data Webcast” a couple of weeks ago, someone in the audience asked a question that also got me thinking about logistics: What if data mining spread through an organization, and Hadoop appeared on desktops – populated with lots and lots of data?

This may not seem like a big deal to some. It isn’t news that data scientists like to cull a subset of data from a large central data store and play around with it. And Excel remains the most popular tool for quantitative analytics, despite huge investments in business intelligence tools.

However, the ability to bypass the central storage all together and create a personal copy of a complete data set is a completely different matter – and a whole new level of concern for compliance officers. Organizations implementing Big Data initiatives must pay attention to this issue.

To all of you compliance officers and IT managers: Get ahead of the Big Data wave. Make sure you know what is going on inside your organization. And be part of the solution.

The tools are there for every data scientist in your organization to put a data vehicle in his garage – and then drive it wherever and however he likes. If you don’t pick up those tools beforehand, somebody else will.

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