Book Review: Data Crush

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DataCrushA new book came across my desk the other day that I really enjoyed in terms of its timeliness for the audience of Big Data decision makers trying to make sense of this new technology. “Data Crush – How the Information Tidal Wave is Driving New Business Opportunities,” by Christopher Surdak aims to spark a widespread business movement beyond the pressing goal of surviving the data tsunami. Backed by extensive research and the real-world experience of early Big Data adopters, Surdak makes a compelling case for embracing the explosion of data for a deeper and richer understanding of any business and its customers. Describing his recommendations as a call to action for all business people who wish to aucceed in this new business environment, the author urges every reader, even the dazed and unnerved digital novice to “Dive right in and prepare to be crushed.”

The book is contained in three major sections:

  1. Data growth’s drivers – spotlighting six technological and social trends: Mobility (smartphones, tablets, and the “Internet of things”), Virtual Living (social media), Digital Commerce, Online Entertainment, Cloud Computing, and Big Data.
  2. Data growth’s impact on business – six strategies for responding to and profiting from the data-driving forces: Contextification (using data on customers’ “where” and “when” to anticipate and satisfy changing needs), Socialification (forging bonds through customer’s virtual tribes), Quantification, Applification, Cloudification, and Thingification (making products or services data-enabled, or “smart”).
  3. Specific actions – any company can take right now to ensure their ability to weather the data crush and thrive. Surdak’s six steps to business success in a datafied environment start with polarize (determine your core business strategy and resolve to remain true to it), quick move on to accelerate (for starters, by committing to cutting the cycle time of any business process that touches customers at least in half within the next 12 to 18 months), and culminate with crowdsource – putting customers to work.

What started all this data growth? How will it affect my business? How should my business respond to not simply survive  but succeed in a world continually flooded with information? Data Crush answers such common confounding questions in easy-to-grasp language, in ways to make sense, and with the help of examples from niche-market mavericks like Groupon, Bonobos, and Rovio, ad well as established giants like Google, Target, Home Depot, Ford, eBay, and Subway.

Surdak wraps it all up with five vivid, highly conceivable scenarios of everyday life and business as usual in the year 2020. Engaging as well as informative and useful, Data Crush, provides an expert compass for navigating a world awash in data and a life jacket for cruising through the adventure.

Daniel – Managing Editor, insideAI News


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  1. Just about finished reading this book, its a great eye opener for me. I have been yearning to learn more about big data, the book is just perfect.

    Chris made it so open and simplified, very practical. His blogs titled “New Top Ten Myths of Big Data” and “The Digital Trinity” are also awesome.
    He probably sees the future more than we all.