Big Data: An All-Consuming Beast

Big Data

Small data, step aside. We are now entering the age of big data.

This article will look at the rise of this technological field as follows:

  • Forecast for big data
  • Six value propositions
  • Five steps to the cloud (new)
  • Unlimited assistance

Forecast for Big Data

According to the Accu-Weather Forecast, we are looking at a combination of sleet, hail, sunshine, and multiple rainbows… then again, the Accu-Weather Forecast is based entirely off of meteorological intuition. On the other hand, a December 2013 forecast by IDC projected that the market for big data solutions would reach $32 billion by 2017, representing a 27% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) – six times faster than the general IT industry.

Six Value Propositions

A report released by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) in May 2011, although it’s a bit dated, offers a great analysis of how this part of computing is creating value for businesses. It should also be noted that part of the popularity of analyzing in this vast way is simply “evidence”: once you understand it, you can get creative and serve whatever agenda you want. Here are the MGI value propositions:

  1. Data has become integral to business. More and more, gathering it is not the issue. Companies already do that. The growth since the turn of the century is revealing: in 1999, Walmart owned 100 TB of data. 10 years later, the average large enterprise had twice that amount.
  2. Big data tools allow data to be clearer, while transforming it into a usable form.
  3. As more information is put to work, a firm is better able to self-assess. Statistics can be quickly compiled on anything, from customer accounts to employee computer use. Organizations can use it to conduct internal testing or modify their approach in real time.
  4. By studying one’s users, you are able to better deliver highly customized solutions based on whatever differentiating characteristics you have identified.
  5. The direction of the business becomes more easily manageable since there is less guesswork. You can verify rather than simply stating your opinion.
  6. Everything that businesses produce has the potential to be enhanced. One example is the placement of sensors within products. This Internet of Things effort allows a company to offer continuing assistance, such as proactive maintenance (which allows a company to take action prior to any problems). Sensors in our food could allow companies to track our digestion, decreasing indigestion, bloating, and please don’t feed us sensors.

Five Steps to the Cloud (New)

Notably, the IDC study referenced above revealed that Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is the most powerful driver of data analytics, boosting 49% through 2017. Is it time to move your “big” (possibly enormous) project to the cloud? Do it. Here is a five-step plan from James Kobielus writing for Wired on October 30:

  1. Get everyone onboard. You first want to rally everyone behind the cause. Kobielus notes that all top management can experience the benefits most obviously by “marrying the cloud and big data.” Argue the case of big data with the McKinsey list and other strengths, such as the ability to immediately adapt to a new competitive landscape, enrich customer relationships, and optimize the cost-effectiveness of your operations.
  2. Look at your loads. If you have a general idea of what you want to do with the technology, you will have a better sense of how to invest and build. Apps of this type are generally of three kinds: development, processing, and storage. You may want a cloud that separates the needs you have for each of those three into their own nodes. You may not know exactly what is best, so get platforms and software that are agile and user-friendly.
  3. Assess. You want to outline your situation technically. You want to specify the data to which you are referring, any analytics solutions, and all cloud layers and the tools that will be used. Know what you need to deploy based on workloads.
  4. Consider hybrid. Attendees of two different October virtualization conferences in New York demonstrated the growth potential of hybrid cloud: more than half said they had adopted one or were preparing for adoption. Look at hybrid solutions, which could allow you to meet all your compliance and security needs. You want to be able to reposition your controls and determine their scalability for a complex virtual environment so that your cloud data project is airtight.
  5. Eat your Wheaties. It’s game time. Wait, slow down. Operation-readiness is critical and will be highly dependent on the type of apps you intend to deploy. Based on your assessment above, look at how you might want to modify your general management and analytics practices to better integrate with your cloud project.

Unlimited Assistance

With 18 years in web hosting, we know how difficult migration can be. That’s why we provide 30 days of Unlimited assistance upfront. We take care of our customers. One client, Richard Martin, commented, “I could not suggest any improvements… Kudos to the team.”

By Kent Roberts