- Choose from a multitude of engines (Hive, Spark, Presto, Tensorflow).
Big Data Analytics offers a nearly endless source of business and informational insight, that can lead to operational improvement and new opportunities for companies to provide unrealized revenue across almost every industry. From use cases like customer personalization, to risk mitigation, to fraud detection, to internal operations analysis, and all the other new use cases arising near-daily, the Value hidden in company data has companies looking to create a cutting-edge analytics operation.
Discovering value within raw data poses many challenges for IT teams. Every company has different needs and different data assets. Business initiatives change quickly in an ever-accelerating marketplace, and keeping up with new directives can require agility and scalability. On top of that, a successful Big Data Analytics operation requires enormous computing resources, technological infrastructure, and highly skilled personnel.
All of these challenges can cause many operations to fail before they deliver value. In the past, a lack of computing power and access to automation made a true production-scale analytics operation beyond the reach of most companies: Big Data was too expensive, with too much hassle, and no clear ROI. With the rise of cloud computing and new technologies in compute resource management, Big Data tools are more accessible than ever before.
Big Data emerged from the early-2000s data boom, driven forward by many of the early internet and technology companies. Software and hardware capabilities could, for the first time in history, keep up with the massive amounts of unstructured information produced by consumers. New technologies like search engines, mobile devices, and industrial machines provided as much data as companies could handle—and the scale continues to grow.
In a study conducted by IDC, the Market Intelligence firm estimated that the global production of data would would grow 10x between 2015 and 2020.
With the astronomical growth in collectible data, it soon became evident that traditional data technologies such as data warehouses and relational databases were not well-suited to operate with the influx of unstructured data. The early Big Data innovation projects were open-sourced under the Apache Software Foundation, with most significant contributions coming from the likes of Google, Yahoo, Facebook, IBM, academia, and others. Some of the most widely used engines are:
As data grows exponentially, enterprises need to continuously scale their infrastructure to maximize the economic value of the data. In the early years of Big Data (roughly 2008), when Hadoop was first getting recognition by larger enterprises, it was extremely expensive and inefficient to stand up a useful production system. Using Big Data also meant that there needed to be the right people and software technology, as well as hardware to handle the data and velocity of queries coming in. Aligning everything to operate synchronously was an extremely daunting task, and caused many Big Data projects to fail.
By 2013, the notion of the enterprise cloud for analytics was becoming popularized by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and a few number of other Silicon Valley companies (VMWare, Microsoft, and IBM) started emerging with their take of enterprise solutions for companies to take advantage of leveraging cloud computing. It wasn’t until AWS announced their earnings in 2015 of nearly $5 billion in revenue for the year, that the world truly started to take notice.
The cloud has shaped into a market-changer today as businesses, large and tiny, can have instantaneous access to infrastructure and advanced technologies with a few clicks. This allows the Data Admin and DevOps teams to be the enabler of the entire platform operation, and no longer a bottle neck. Back to the earlier comment on the 4 V’s of big data, this is where cloud provides a great infrastructure to enable companies to grow beyond their existing systems:
Business Intelligence is often times referred to as the first two descriptive and diagnostic stages of 4 steps to big data. BI is often hosted in a data warehouse where data is very structured in nature and only explains “what, where, and how” something happened (for example: 10 of the same shoes were purchased from 3 different stores that ran the same promotion, while the other 2 stores sold no shoes). This data is often used in reporting and gathering insights into popularity trends and interactions based on recent events.
Big Data Analytics takes this a step further, as the technology can access a variety of both structured and unstructured datasets (such as user behaviour or images). Big data technologies can bring this data together with the historical information to determine what the probability of an event were to happen based on past experiences.
The 4 V’s have been a well known catalyst for the growth of Big Data analysis in last decade. Moreover, we have entered into a new era where new challenges are evolving like “variety” of open source technologies, Machine Learning use cases, and the rapid development across the big data ecosystem. These have added new challenges around how to keep up with the ever-growing information, while balancing how to ensure the effectiveness of advanced analytics in such a noisy environment.
Predictive and Prescriptive analytics is in a transient state, and requires modern infrastructure that traditional data warehouses can’t service. Having a big data platform that enables teams appropriate self-service access to unstructured data, enables companies to have more innovative data operations.
Big data has become an essential requirement for enterprises looking to harness their business potential. Today both large and small businesses enjoy greater profitability and competitive edge through the capture management, analysis of vast volumes of unstructured data. However, all organizations have realized they require a modern data architecture for going to the next level. This need has led to the emergence of data lakes.
According to Dr. Kirk Borne, Principal Data Scientist & Data Science Fellow, Booz Allen Hamilton:
“The biggest challenge of Big Data is not volume, but data complexity or data variety. Volume is not the problem because the storage is manageable. Big Data is bringing together all the diverse and distributed data sources that organizations have across many different sources of data. Data silos inhibit data teams from integrating multiple data sets that (when combined) could yield deep, actionable insights to create business value. That’s what a Big Data Lake can do.”
Watch his keynote session from the Data Lake Summit here
Qubole, a cloud-native Big Data activation platform, is useful at any scale because the technology operates on the notion of separating storage from compute, and furthermore having managed autoscaling for Apache Hadoop, Apache Spark, Presto, and TensorFlow. The software automates cloud infrastructure provisioning, which saves a ton of time from data teams getting bogged down in administrative tasks such as cluster configuration and workload monitoring.
Free access to Qubole for 30 days to build data pipelines, bring machine learning to production, and analyze any data type from any data source.