Agarwal On Adopting Big Data to Drive Innovation
“Big data” has become a ubiquitous phrase in the past few years and in 2015, we witnessed an increased investment in Big Data. The technology emerged as a core component of an organization’s strategy to embrace change and drive innovation. In 2016, we expect to see more mainstream adoption of Big Data across sectors. The major trends we foresee include-
• Increase in demand for professional data scientists- With more hypotheses to investigate, we expect to see an increase in demand for professional data scientists. Organizations will look to leverage skills of professional data scientists to increase their overall business efficiency
• Pre-configured automation tools- With the advent of Cloud, technologies will mature and we expect to see Big Data appliances or tools with pre-configured automation and standardization
• Emergence of new management tools- New management tools will uncouple and enclose the big data foundation technologies from higher level data processing needs. We will also see the emergence of dataflow programming which provides simpler reusability of functional operators, and gives pluggable support for statistical and machine learning functions
• Big data cloud services with the help of IoT- Highly secure IoT Cloud services will help manufacturers create new products that safely take action on the analysed data without human intervention
• Increased need for security solutions- Increasing consumer awareness of the ways data can be collected, shared, stored and stolen will amplify calls for regulatory protections of personal information.
Bumps in the Big Data path
The major challenge associated with Big Data is the complexity and the cost involved. As the name suggests, the amount of data that needs to be analyzed is huge and most of it is in its raw form and are of different types. Organizations end up investing a lot of time and resources in order to explore the data, prepare it and transform it. Companies also often overlook or underestimate the importance of securing information during the adoption of Big Data solutions. In the event that the security is compromised, organizations are open to attacks from various unknown sources and are at the risk of losing out on sensitive information which can result in tremendous loss for the company. To overcome these challenges, it is critical for organizations to invest in the right technology infrastructure. Most organizations understand that Big Data analytics requires a different infrastructure than what they have used historically for data warehousing and BI. Therefore, they need to plan on investing in a new age infrastructure solution to realize the complete potential of Big Data. Although India has emerged to be an early adopter of Big Data, the industry is facing several challenges with respect to talent development in this sector. Currently, there exists a significant gap with respect to the number of qualified data professionals in the country that are capable of turning data into actionable insight.
However, organizations have begun to realize the importance of addressing this talent gap and are leveraging their academic alliance programmes, with universities in India and overseas introducing courses in various areas related to the domain. Private IT training institutes in India are also developing talent through courses specific to Big Data. In addition, companies including Oracle are looking at leveraging their existing talent and are providing their employees within house training programs to equip them with the required Big Data skill sets to bridge the talent gap in the market.
Oracle’s Solution to Address the Big Data Challenge
StubHub, the world’s largest online ticket marketplace is a great example of how Oracle helped address the big data challenge. Prior to deploying Oracle’s Big Data solution, the company faced challenges with respect to deploying a comprehensive platform for real-time analytics. The amount of customer data to be analysed was tremendous and the company was determined to derive key insights from this humongous data to efficiently drive their overall growth. To address these challenges, StubHub deployed Oracle Database, Oracle Active Data Guard, Oracle Advanced Analytics and Oracle Partitioning. Oracle’s Big Data vision is to help organizations simplify information access and discovery by providing them with quick access to turn data into business value. Oracle Big Data Appliance combines optimized hardware with the most comprehensive software stack featuring specialized solutions developed by Oracle to deliver a complete, easy-to-deploy solution for acquiring, organizing and analyzing Big Data. It is designed to deliver extreme analytics on all data types, with enterprise-class performance, availability, manageability and security.