Avatar (Fabio Alessandro Locati|Fale)'s blog

Principles of Big Data: Preparing, Sharing, and Analyzing Complex Information by Jules J Berman (Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann)

May 14, 2013

As you probably know, I usually do not comment the books layout, being more focused on the contents of a book instead of it’s layout.

This time I will start this review speaking about the layout of this book since it’s REALLY peculiar. The Introduction is written in a two-columns layout, very similar to the Science magazine layout. The book itself is written in a single column layout, still with a “Science like” look. What shocked me a little bit about this is the sense of old scientific document that this book has. This is true until you read the first few pages. As soon as you do it, the sense of old scientific document disappears quickly.

The book is well written and the author explains a lot of things on Big Data. None of them is technical (ie: how to install Hadoop or how to extract data from a Big Data system). This is a feature of this book since it has no pretense to teach to IT people how to do their job, while tries to explain to the anyone who is somehow related to a Big Data system (ie: administrator, user, lawyer, manager) how it works.

The only downside I saw on this book is that often the examples are related to hospitals and more specifically to pathologists. The reason of this is obvious if you read the author biography. Even if after few examples about these themes you start wondering if you’ll find some different examples in the entire book, the examples are very easy to be transported to any other field in which Big Data makes sense.

I think that this book is unique thanks to it’s approach and a very good reading to anyone that wants to understand deeply the Big Data.

You can find the book at O’Reilly website.

Disclaimer: I received a free electronic copy of this book as part of the O’Reilly Blogger Program