Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Pat Romanski, Ambuj Kumar, Shelly Palmer, XebiaLabs Blog, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Big Data: Taming the Beast for Competitive Advantage

I’d hate to see anyone miss out on the opportunity presented by Big Data

I recently presented, "The Moneyball Approach to Big Data - Creating an Unfair Advantage," at the Wall Street Technology Association's Hot Technologies Forum in New York. Everyone is talking about Big Data, but when it comes to taking action, most are taking a "wait-and-see" approach, and that concerns me. Skepticism or "late-adopter" mentality is understandable - if you want to forego a low-risk, high-reward opportunity and let your competition gain the advantage.

My job is to create value for my customers, and I'd hate to see anyone miss out on the opportunity presented by Big Data.

What's the Problem?
The Corporate Executive Board identified three potential barriers to Big Data implementation:

  1. Information Attainability (the right information is available and easy to find)
  2. Information Usefulness (information is of good quality and is usable in format)
  3. Employee Capability (employees analyze information effectively to make good decisions)

While these are definitely three potential barriers to implementation, the main problem I see in the market is pre-implementation where the "wait and see" mentality is caused by either a feeling that Big Data is over-hyped ("maybe it will go away"), or paralysis by analysis (the enormity and complexity of Big Data is too confusing to take action).

What Is Big Data?
The most common definition I've seen for Big Data is summarized by the three Vs:

  • Volume: It's big - terabytes and petabytes of data
  • Variety: It comes in many forms - internal, external, structured, and unstructured
  • Velocity: It is growing and changing rapidly - making real-time capture and action hugely important

This definition is always supported by numbers showing the vastness and enormity of Big Data:

  • The New York Stock Exchange creates 1 terabyte of data per day (InformationWeek)
  • 10,000 payment-card transactions are made per second worldwide (American Banker)
  • 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook every month (McKinsey)
  • Twitter feeds generate 8 terabytes of data every day (InformationWeek)

The Internet plays a huge role in the rapid growth of Big Data, giving individuals the ability to post and upload immense amounts of pictures, text, video, and mobile data. It also gives businesses a channel to offer access to customers and partners through web-based applications (think Oracle, salesforce.com, social media, procurement, logistics, publishers, etc.). One way to visualize this explosion of applications and data is the Bessemer Venture Partners Cloudscape. And that's just in the cloud. Don't forget all of the apps and data behind the firewall of every organization, whether commercial, governmental, or charitable. Big Data truly is BIG.

Start Small
Before you go out and buy massive amounts of storage, take a look at what you currently consume and utilize and start from there in easily digestible portions. Forrester estimates that enterprises currently utilize less than 5% of available data. In a survey of global executives, IBM shows that 33% have made decisions with inaccurate data or data they don't trust; half don't have sufficient information from across their organization to do their job; 75% believe more predictive information would drive better decisions; yet 87% have yet to even start taking advantage of opportunities to leverage information to their advantage. You don't need to immediately implement a solution getting you to 100% or even 50% of available data - 6-10% will do for now.

If there are 200 million tweets a day equaling 8 terabytes of data, but only 1,000 of those tweets relate to your product or company, do you need to store and analyze all 8 terabytes every day? Think of it this way: there's a huge difference between "I have terabytes of data - videos, satellite pictures, social media conversations, and research reports" and "I know where Public Enemy #1 is." It comes down to Data vs. Intelligence. Data is useless if you can't extract meaningful intelligence from it. And the quality of the intelligence is much less dependent on the volume of data than it is on the relevance of the data and your ability to access it.

The Magic Words: Relevance and Accessibility
Although Big Data lives up to its name, don't get caught up in all the massive numbers. Focus on what's relevant to your business. Consider this: Sybase published Big Data, Big Opportunity that stated "for the median Fortune 1000 company... a 10% increase in usability of data translates to an increase of $2.01 billion in total revenue per year, [and] a 10% increase in accessibility to data translates to an additional $65.67 million in net income per year." Just because your company currently may have access to only 5 percent of the relevant data that is available, don't despair. You don't have to go from 5 percent to 100 percent. You really only need to go from 5 percent to 5.5 percent to reap great rewards.

The Secret to Taming Big Data
Despite all the hype and discussion around Big Data's massiveness, I've yet to find a single article mentioning the difficulty of accessing data that is spread throughout all of the various source applications. Until recently there were no Big Data integration platforms that could deal with the exploding number of applications and all of the data they contain, as well as the speed at which both are changing. Just a glance at the daily domain statistics on www.domaintools.com gives you an idea of the volume of sites being created, deleted, and transferred every 24 hours. Not every integration solution can manage the intensity of that kind of change to give you access to the relevant data - the business intelligence - your business needs when you need it.

The whole point of gaining access to relevant data is that it must be actionable. Otherwise it's a big waste of time and effort. What's amazingly useful about Big Data, and the web-based nature of so much of it, is that with a Big Data integration platform you can access any data you can see on a website and you can just as easily transform that data, perform an operation on it, and automate a resulting action. Here's an example:

You know that consumers and even your B2B purchasers research prices online and that loyalty to any one vendor has deteriorated as buyers have more pricing knowledge just a search and mouse-click away. But you're smarter than your competitors because you're already doing the extra 10 percent. You set up automated monitoring of your competitor's pricing, and when their price drops below yours, your Big Data integration platform calculates the difference plus 10%, logs into your ecommerce site and adjusts your prices automatically, all in mere moments. The beauty is that this can all be set up in hours, if not a few days, and you don't have to bring in an army of developers or consultants to create custom code to do any of it.

If I told you I could guarantee any application or data you can see in your web browser (customer data, bank transactions, twitter, blogs, supply chain vendors, government data, competitor prices, etc.) could be automatically accessed and loaded into the application, database, or spreadsheet of your choice, how many game-changing Big Data projects could you imagine? Understanding the point-in-time cash position of billions of dollars across 300 banks? No problem. Monitoring competitor pricing on 50,000 SKUs every day? Simple. Automating a 23-step manual invoicing process to get paid millions of dollars two days faster? Done. Real-time, automated access to the relevant data you need is the key to success with Big Data.

Every company can benefit from Big Data in many ways, but most don't realize it. Hundreds of scenarios are possible using real-time application integration platforms that could save your company millions of dollars; grow revenue by double-digit percentages; create more personalized products that delight your customers; automate real-time feedback on your brand, products, and competitor prices; create your own custom research that allows you to see trends before your competitors do; and overall make your company a much more agile business that scales with your new-found vigor and growth. Don't let the size of Big Data paralyze you; get real-time access to the data that is relevant to your company's growth and take action.

More Stories By Rick Kawamura

Rick Kawamura, VP of Marketing at Kapow Software, is the driving force behind global marketing at Kapow Software. He and his team are accelerating the company’s growth and expanding its leadership in the application integration market worldwide.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dasher Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dasher Technologies, Inc. ® is a premier IT solution provider that delivers expert technical resources along with trusted account executives to architect and deliver complete IT solutions and services to help our clients execute their goals, plans and objectives. Since 1999, we'v...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities – ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups. As a result, many firms employ new business models that place enormous impor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Taica manufacturers Alpha-GEL brand silicone components and materials, which maintain outstanding performance over a wide temperature range -40C to +200C. For more information, visit http://www.taica.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, will discuss how given the magnitude of today's applicati...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp emp...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...