[Editor’s Note: This guest post was provided by Tom Ilube, Managing Director, Callcredit Consumer Markets, and includes additional contributions from Rob Styles, Principal Technical Consultant, Callcredit)]
If you intend to introduce Big Data and Linked Data approaches to your company you may wish to learn from the way pygmies hunt elephants.
Forty years ago my father took me on safari in remote parts of Kenya. We ended up slightly off the beaten track, in a pygmy village. They were very welcoming and one evening as we sat around chatting some of the young men told us how they hunt elephants. Pygmies, I am reliably informed, approach this formidable task in three easy steps.
Step 1: A team of two pygmies roll around in elephant dung, so that they can sneak up on said elephant without being detected;
Step 2: Pygmy A (let us call him “Joe”) climbs on Pygmy B’s (“Fred”) shoulders, underneath the elephant (“Nelly”). Joe uses a short, sharp spear to attack the soft underbelly and aim directly for Nelly’s heart. Then they run. Fast.
Step 3: Joe and Fred return to the village, carrying an ear each, and are received as heroes as the whole village feasts for weeks.
Mind you, if Joe and Fred return covered in dung and without ears then they are given pretty short shrift by their fellow village, let me tell you! There is also the minor risk of being stomped on. But otherwise, it’s a foolproof plan.
This is precisely the approach that Rob Styles (Pygmy A) and I (Pygmy B) are taking in introducing Big Data concepts at Callcredit, the UK credit reference agency. Well, perhaps not precisely. But let’s see how far I can push this ridiculous analogy.