What Working With BIG DATA Really Means

Big data is a major buzzword these days. 

But what does it really mean to work with big data? And who are the key stakeholders?

The process of going from a big data lake to a mature product is involved, to say the least. With the goal of answering user questions, this process involves data analysis, process consolidation, robust APIs, and beautiful interfaces — and it requires a robust team of people with different backgrounds and skill sets to work on it.

At Cuebiq, we break our teams down into pods, to work on the big data based products that our clients love. A pod at Cuebiq is a cross-functional team that works on one of the components of our product, Clara, a SaaS platform that maps, targets, and measures the offline consumer journey.

To help you understand what it really means to work with big data, we’ve outlined the roles and responsibilities of the key players in a sample Cuebiq pod.

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Ilenia Zara

The Data Scientist

It all starts with her — Ilenia crafts beautiful algorithms that extract data to answer clients’ questions. She constantly finds new ways to analyze and present our data to add value for clients. She mainly uses Python, Spark, and Presto to perform quick exploratory analyses and works closely with the Data Engineer to make algorithms become part of a scalable and efficient big data solution. On a daily basis, she also interacts with the Product Owner and Technical Lead, to clarify user requirements and help with designing a robust solution. She engages in discussion and continuous brainstorming with the rest of the Data Science team and constantly brings new ideas from research to the product side.

I love discovering hidden patterns in human data. I am a former researcher in statistical genetics, a former software engineer, functional consultant, and, last but not least, musician. In my spare time I love practicing yoga and playing outdoor sports.

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Riccardo Biondi


Riccardo, with a strong background in API development, is mainly focused on providing guidelines and best practices to the team. In this way, he helps solve issues whenever they appear, avoiding interruptions and ensuring the availability and scalability of all the services and products developed by the team. He’s also in charge of training young talent so that they can excel and grow quickly in their roles. Finally, he reviews and writes code, which he loves!

I was born and raised in Sicily — an island in the south of Italy — the best place to vacation if you love the sun, the sea, and good food! I’m passionate about airplanes and when I was in Sicily I used to go flying with my brother, who has a pilot’s license for small planes.

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Alessandro Sivieri


My main job as a Data Engineer is to take the algorithms designed by our Data Scientists and implement them in a way that makes them efficient and scalable. “Big data” means that we throw terabytes of data into our applications — we need to make sure that they can handle it and produce the expected results in a timely manner. The Backend Engineers will then take the results and prepare them for data visualization. We write almost all of our code in Kotlin, using Spark as our data processing engine, and we interact with Amazon AWS services, which provide our computational power. Simply, we make sure that all the data that goes into our platform is reliable, accurate, and actionable.

I come from a small town near Venice, but I decided very young that Milan was more my jam. I've played the guitar since I was eight years old, and when I am not working I love picking up my acoustic and singing some tunes.

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Graziana Mirabella


Graziana’s work is the glue between big data and data visualization. The APIs that she implements simplify the dialogue between these two worlds — avoiding redundancies and optimizing the data that will be at the base of user interaction. These services can be reused, reassembled, and recomposed according to the needs of those who want to use them. She writes code in Kotlin mainly, but also in Java — and she uses frameworks like Vert.x and Spring Boot.

I’m originally from Sicily and am a digital enthusiast. I've always enjoyed writing, whether it be code, songs, ideas, or stories. When I'm not writing, I like to go cycling, climbing, or watch documentaries.

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Giovanni Montanari


Giovanni makes it all real! He works to visualize the rest of the team’s efforts in turning generic big data into insights and actions. He is a Full Stack Javascript developer and analyzes, designs, and develops new features and products on our Clara platform.

I’m ridiculously curious, sometimes cheeky, and always interested in the latest changes in technology. I love sports, games, and food — a lot of it!

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Massimo Gianuzzi


He’s the one who strives to understand what clients really want and translates their needs into features that the pod then develops. Together with the Product Managers, he acts as a translator, ensuring that clients’ needs are met and their vision is realized. He’s a master of Jira, Confluence, and tracking and planning tools.

The world is one big data problem! Work aside, my biggest passion is music. I love electronic music in particular. Part of my room is covered by synths, speakers, and cables. I can’t count the hours I’ve spent listening to “weird noises” — at least that’s what my friends call them!