Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Liz McMillan, Mark Ross-Smith, Peter Silva, Jim Hansen, LeanTaaS Blog

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 Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you...
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new in...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buyers...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, I provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading the...
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of C...
TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets. By creating abundant, high-quality editorial content across more than 140 highly targeted technology-specific websites, TechTarget attracts and nurtures communities of technology buyers researching their companies' information technology needs. By understanding these buyers' content consumption behaviors, TechTarget creates the purchase inte...
In the enterprise today, connected IoT devices are everywhere – both inside and outside corporate environments. The need to identify, manage, control and secure a quickly growing web of connections and outside devices is making the already challenging task of security even more important, and onerous. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Rich Boyer, CISO and Chief Architect for Security at NTT i3, will discuss new ways of thinking and the approaches needed to address the emerging challenges of securit...
As cloud adoption continues to transform business, today's global enterprises are challenged with managing a growing amount of information living outside of the data center. The rapid adoption of IoT and increasingly mobile workforce are exacerbating the problem. Ensuring secure data sharing and efficient backup poses capacity and bandwidth considerations as well as policy and regulatory compliance issues.
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business. Though, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected with a majority of IoT projects having failed. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, Chief IoTologist at Wipro, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology portfolios and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will delve in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great dea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...