#CPG: 10 Reasons Why Now Is the Time to Get into #BigData

Rick Delgado is a new technologies freelance writer. In this article he takes an objective view of Big Data and lays out 10 reasons why now is the time for Big Data. My observations are italicized below.

1. It will keep your data secure

Being able to completely map your data out in front of you will make you better at analyzing potential threats. You can easily ensure that the most sensitive data you have in your system has all of the necessary security features it needs to stay well protected and within any sort of regulations that your business has to adhere to.
Many BI tools have provided for this sitting on top of the data – however – the big data structure allows this to be mapped into the clusters where data lives.

2. It opens up brand new revenue sources

You will gather a ton of insight into your part of the market. This insight is valuable, and not just to you. Selling out non-personalized industry data about trends in the market can bring in a ton of money from any other businesses operating in the same portion of the industry that you are, making it a great way to bring in some more funds.
While this is not always possible for a CPG company, for example, to do when retailer-sourced data is in the mix there are other opportunities at the enterprise level.

3. It’ll give you an advantage

Businesses are built on tradition. Any industry is going to have years of tradition that believe that one way of doing things is the right way and if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. One important value that big data has is that it lets you really examine and analyze preconceived notions about aspects of a business you may have never even considered. It will provide better data when it comes to experimenting and trying to innovate, meaning that you’ll be able to get a much better advantage over your competitors.

4. Better Visuals

Big data requires cutting edge data visualizing tools in order to translate all of those numbers and data points into something a bit more tangible. This will increase overall usability that can be utilized by people in the business themselves or their end users.
There are increasing numbers of tools available for the user to create insight from their data lake – Vortisieze prefers MicroStrategy but ultimately is agnostic toward the BI tool selected giving you maximum flexibility.

5. It’s very easy to set up

Big data used to be something that only big corporations could afford to get into. Luckily, there are alternatives that can bring the benefits of big data to a company of any size. Hadoop is a great open source framework that can handle large amounts of data. Hadoop works with Excel, which most businesses already use.
The entry point is such, especially with the ABC of business (Analytics, Big Data, Cloud Computing), that retailer sales/support offices can easily add this as a budget item without involving their IT division.

6. It helps your business evolve

One of the best things about big data is just how scalable it is. Getting the right tools means being able to convert not just number data, but also text, audio, and video files to find patterns that can give a business a ton of insight into the market. Investing in big data as a small company means you’ll be able to easily handle all the data easily that comes with growth.
You begin seeing your business as your customers (the ones buying your products from the retailer) see your business.

7. It can significantly cut back on maintenance

Businesses that rely on large pieces of equipment often spend tons of money when it comes to replacing and maintaining them using predetermined data that tries to predict how long they’re going to remain efficient. Big data allows you to get rid of rounded averages and replace them with specifics, allowing you to squeeze even more life out of machinery that still has plenty of use left.
And with cloud computing, also called data-as-a-service, there is no equipment involved to maintain.

8. It brings you closer with your customers

The customers of today are a lot different than in the past. The rise of the internet allows them to thoroughly and tirelessly research a product before buying and to communicate with tons of people about which brand they should do business with. Big data allows you to better profile these fickle consumers and figure out specifically what they want.
See comments to #6 above.

9. It’s easier to analyze risk

There’s more to business than running your own company effectively. Every business is just one in a large industry that must regularly compete and innovate in order to stay ahead of the rest. Utilizing big data to analyze things like news articles and social media will give you cutting edge information about the biggest and latest developments in your industry.

10. You’ll be able to improve your products

Big data is a key that’ll explain specifically what your consumers really think about your product. Big data is even being used in medical research for companies that do personalized medicine or companion diagnostics, and need to analyze large amounts of biological data. You’ll be able to use your insight to easily get a better picture of your customers based out of different geographic areas and belonging to different demographic groups. Once you’ve seen how the product is perceived, you can easily raise efficiencies in key areas along the product process.
These are extremely valuable insights to present to your retailer buyer – enabling your company to rise above the noise from your competition.


Source:  10 Reasons Why Now Is the Time to Get into Big Data





#BigData – All of the Hype – None of the Calories!

There has been a lot of hype in the IT industry around Big Data over the last year. It’s been quite breathtaking watching the polarization that has come with this hype, and I have found that everyone falls into one of three camps. When you are reading or listening to some rhetoric about big data, it helps me to classify the argument into one of these three camps, that way I can discern what I am hearing or reading more quickly.

Camp #1 – They are selling something else. So, company A has a mobile app that collects data from a MSSQL server in the cloud, handles maybe 500 GB of data, and they don’t really have a clue what big data is all about. But, everyone is talking about big data, so they want to get into the game. They use phrases like “We’ve always been about big data” or  “We’ve been doing big data for 20 years”, or “We go from big data to smart data”. I’m sure they have a great mobile app, or they have a really clever data model in Teradata – but I generally see these as red flags as NoBigData. No big deal. Maybe the convolution they are creating around big data is generating some big sales for them. I don’t know. Big data sounds cool, right? Surely everyone does big data? If you find the conversation about big data quickly devolves to the cool user interface, or real time data collection via a mobile app, chances are they are just selling something else. I don’t have a problem with non big data products. Not everything should be a big data project to be completely honest. Just don’t call your product big data when it isn’t. It’s ok, really. My car or my DVD player aren’t big data either, but I use them regularly.

Camp #2 – They’ve been ordered to implement big data. These are the teams that know they have a mobile cloud app or a clever DB2 data warehouse, but the CIO has given the mandate that” everyone is doing big data, and so shall we all”. These folks would rather have their arm caught in a wood chipper than feed the big data hype, and they will do everything in their power to kill the initiative without sounding like an obstruction. Generally, I see these folks as hardened IT folks who have made their careers on another database platform, are comfortable with it, heck may even love it. It’s like asking them to cheat on their significant others with someone they don’t like. If it ain’t broke, why replace it? You see these teams, trying to install Hadoop on a TI-85 calculator, and then loading 5 TBs of data, and then complaining the query took an hour, so big data is busted. Maybe. Probably not. I bet they didn’t read the manual, because, you know – that’s against the code….wink wink.

Camp #3 – They get it. To be fair, some of these concepts require a completely new understanding on how data works. Schema on read, for instance. This just boggles the traditional RDBMS developers mind. Typically, you look at your data, create a table, set it’s column data types (these columns are integers, these other columns are strings), then load the data, and then output it to a report. This is called schema on write. I define the table, when I write the table structure. With Hadoop, We load the data, then figure out which columns are integers or strings, and then output the data to a report. This is called schema on read. Why is this significant? I can change the entire data model in 5 minutes. That is not very easy in Oracle or MSSQL. If I built an entire reporting application, and realized a year down the road that what I thought was an integer was supposed to be a character, I can still fix that in 5 minutes on a Hadoop platform. It would take longer than that to put together a project plan to do that in Oracle. I can also add a column to the end of my table, and then figure out what to do with it 6 months later. These concepts are so far removed from traditional databases that they just do not compute. But, when you see someone truly understand what these new super powers bring, then you can see the excitement. Speed, scalability, agility, cost savings – every single one of those are worth a consideration. Maybe when you put all four together in the same sentence, people just assume they are too good to be true?




#MicroStrategy 10 Adds New #Hadoop #Analytics Capabilities

The leader in the BI analytics platform sphere, and the preferred BI tool by Vortisieze, MicroStrategy is now allowing users to enjoy the richness of data that Hadoop allows.

  • MicroStrategy Inc.’s has launched a major upgrade to its namesake business intelligence platform that promises to help organizations make more out of the vast troves of data they’re storing in Hadoop. That’s done through improved connector bundled natively into the new release.
  • MicroStrategy 10 enables analysts to manipulate imported information using new search and visualization functionality that the company says removes the need to use external tools for that job. That avoids the overhead associated with moving files back and forth, which can amount to significant time savings at the petabyte scale in which many production-grade Hadoop clusters operate.
  • The company promises to take even more delay out of the equation with optimizations to its multi-dimensional analytic algorithms, which now makes it possible to put more data into the logical constructs used to group similar metrics for faster queries. MicroStrategy said that the update has helped PayPal, Inc. achieve sub-second response times for 400-gigabyte workloads.
  • Analysts can take advantage of that performance through the improved interface also introduced in the new release, which is extended to mobile devices with a new companion app that can track the the performance of each user. The client also includes a badge-based security system that allows administrators to control who can access what and how.

Source:  MicroStrategy 10 brings new analytic capabilities to the Hadoop table