Big Data – What Is It and What Are the Trends?

The world has seen huge increase of importance towards Big Data Analytics over the past few years, which has created room for phenomenal opportunities in the fields of project information management and decision making.

This technology is not confined to providing solutions focused on specialization for avant-garde technological companies anymore; it has evolved into a stable, cost efficient way of storing vast quantities of data along with analyzing it across many different industries.

What exactly is Big Data?

Technologies of Big Data include programs like Apache Hadoop, which are designed to provide a viable framework which can be used for wide-ranging distributed storage for data along with processing across the accumulation of multiple computers, networked on a large scale.

The main purpose of Big Data is to offer an effective solution for large amounts of data, in any form. This includes terabytes, petabytes and exabytes within a realistic processing time. The Big Data systems are increasingly efficient when it comes to the storage and analysis of structured, unstructured and partly structured data. These can be in the form of web logs, application logs, text, email, documents, web pages and images.

Corporate Uses of Big Data

Enterprises today are seizing and digitizing almost all the information that they can gather. The IDC showed that the world created an entire zettabyte (which is exactly 1,000,000,000,000 gigabytes) of data in the year 2010 alone.

This tidal wave of data is fueled by over 5 billion cell phones, twenty billion searches run over the internet every month and all of the content shared over social networking sites such as Facebook which roughly amounts to three billion pieces of content. Network sensors also contribute to data generations, such as those produced by cell phones, vehicles, retail packaging, shipping containers and energy meters to name a few. Big Data can be used as a medium of transformation of all of the collectable data into tangible items which can be used for decision making in business.

With time, the initial barriers that hold back Big Data analytics have dramatically shrunk. Cloud services which include Microsoft’s Hadoop distribution for Windows Azure and Amazon Elastic MapReduce let companies to use projects by Big Data without having to pay any infrastructure costs right away. This allows the companies to respond accordingly to scale-out requirements.

Big Data also gets a lot of support from commercial venders such as Cloudera, which speeds development and can achieve greater value from projects involving Big Data. You also have bundled server options such as the one offered by Oracle’s Big Data Appliance, which includes a speedy setup along with scale-out solutions. Data center designs which are modular are finally getting the recognition that they deserve given their efficient capability of managing hardware and scale-out rapidly and in a way that saves money and time.

Big Data Warehouse Incorporation

This recent technology can be applied effectively once its function and its integration with other components is understood, so that it can function in the data warehouse situation. In almost every case, the data warehouse is not completely replaced by Big Data.

Hadoop is designed for speed and its ability to provide flexibility in order to tackle gargantuan sets of data that is unstructured but moreover, is especially efficient for easy work such as sorting, converting, aggregating and filtering. It has not been created to manage schema structures or work on security and referential integrity.

How Will Big Data Be Incorporated With BI/DW Investments?

Hadoop offers a solution that is adaptable and steady for the storage of vast quantities of data volumes plus the aggregation and application of business rules created for spontaneous analysis which exceeds the traditional boundaries of ETL and ad-hoc analysis.

It is not uncommon for Big Data processing tasks to automate and then further transforming along with integration by loading to the data warehouse. This lets Big Data to integrate with data from other places, and present itself to users through BI tools, reports and dashboards.

There are multiple options at your disposal when you want to extract data from Hadoop to enter into the data warehouse. Companies like IBM, Informatica, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP have all released and announced the names of the tools which would be used to interface between Hadoop and its relational systems for managing database.

Tools That Users Love for Big Data

There are tools available in market today that make Big Data usage very accessible and easy. Tools such as Apache Pig and Apache have offer SQL-like framework for those data analysts doing work at advanced levels so that they can run queries against data stored in Hadoop directly.

This is the most efficient way to conduct a targeted analysis that you will not be required to do more than once along with performing investigative data mining and developing queries which will be computerized and can then be entered into the data warehouse. These tools however require professional handling and will not work well for end users.

However with the advent of the New Year there has been news related to end-user tools which are set to release later in this year. Tableau fully supports the drag and drop reporting which is currently used ina beta version of Hadoop. Microsoft has also announced that the Hive ODBC driver and the add-in Hive for Excel will enable end-user usage to data that has been saved in Hadoop through programs like Excel, Analysis Service and PowerPivot.

There tools allow end-users to manipulate visual data in Hadoop, which is gaining importance as a component of an enterprise’s Big Data analytics solutions for the future.

Three Major Trends in Big Data

Trends have been inclined towards the following factors in terms of Big Data:

Distribution of Co-Creation Moves into the Mainstream

As Big Data has caught on, the organization of online communities have started to take notice of web participants when it comes to the development, marketing and support of products and services from being marginal business practices to mainstream essentials. The trend was originally initiated by open-source software developers like Wikipedia, which was quickly captured by various other businesses which today statistically represent over sixty eight million web sites, which include blogger communities.

Make the Network the Organization

The internet made revolutions occur in the business world when it forced many organizations to expand their horizons to include the World Wide Web, which gave non-employees to provide their input in unprecedented ways, tapping into a whole new range of talent. Organizations have caught on to capitalizing on that talent, pushing beyond a regular starting point by building and managing flexible networks stretching across internal and external boundaries, balancing business volatility. Because of the recession, the value of such flexibility is immense. The more porous these organizations are, the more it would need to organize its operations around critical tasks instead of fixing it around rigid corporate structures.

Produce Public Good on the Grid

When you thoroughly exploits technology’s unlimited potential in the commercial realm, picture yourself reshaping your view of the creation of public goods, their delivery and management. When you establish a brave vision for the interlinked community, you are laying down the starting points for a setting strategy. In order to make your vision happen, you would have to be a step ahead of the times and manage your vision with frugality and prudence. To prevent stagnancy you would have to create motivation which can be linked on to public projects and accept innovation amongst technology providers, governments, NGOs and citizens.


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