Big data is often portrayed as a big-ticket IT endeavour which is within reach of only the largest
enterprises. The situation is analogous to oil and gas exploration: you have good reason to
believe that there is unrealised wealth buried at subterranean levels. But you do not know until
you have sunk some highly expensive test wells. You may strike it rich; or you may surface
While examining the data landscape, this paper argues that these obstacles can be overcome
and a sound business case for big data adoption be built.