Big Data Discussion

41398919 - diversity business people big data management brainstorming conceptWelcome to 2017 and another year where we’ll see plenty of technology advances and digital disruption. Is your business ready to rumble? We’ve compiled a great list for you of our top 3 tips for hitting this year running when it comes to your business and big data. It’s game on!

Get on the NoSQL and Hadoop band wagons, or at least, understand them.

A recent report from Forrester, Big Data Management Solutions Forecast 2016, listed NoSQL and Hadoop as the two big data technologies that will see the largest growth during the next five years. Are you already planning projects for implementing either? Here’s what they are and how they work.

NoSQL and Hadoop both handle big data and do the following things well:

  1. Manage transactions that are both massive and use constantly changing data and forms
  2. Scale incrementally by simply adding hardware (horizontal scaling)
  3. Support tons of data formats (documents, media, log files, etc).

Initially, the two technologies appear to be competitors until you drill down to the way they handle work and understand which tool is best for which type of job.

If you’re planning use cases around the following, you want NoSQL: user transactions, collecting data from sensor (think IoT), creating and maintaining customer profiles. When your project is geared towards real-time interactive interfaces, NoSQL is your pal.

If you’re planning use cases around the following, you want Hadoop: recommendations when browsing products, fraud detection and predictive analytics. When your project is geared towards large-scale analytics, Hadoop is your pal.

With their powers combined, you can rock the big data world.

Develop a love of microservices.

With the rise of big data technology, we’ve also seen the rise of microservices, which refers to a suite of small applications working together to complete a task. Rather than developing a monolithic application, programmers create smaller, composable pieces executed using APIs. Agile software development has helped drive the rise of this technology as it provides the ability to work in a more DevOps environment where development and operations work closely together to implement updates and enhancements in a faster release cycle. It also scales better as it can handle messages of a million-per-second-or-more demand!

Think of Amazon. Your front-end experience is going to the website to buy a product. In the back end, microservices are talking with the big data and front-end, passing messages back and forth: “Hey, I’ve got a new user who just arrived”; “They’re searching for this product”; “Show them these related products”; “Display the user reviews on the product they clicked on.”

Put your money where your big data is.

Where are you spending your IT budget? If it’s not in big-data initiatives, you risk getting behind! Even small businesses need to make it a priority in order to better understand their customers and products. Perhaps it feels overwhelming, though. We can help you start with reasonable first steps such as the following:

  1. Start incrementally with free options such as Hadoop. It’s open-source! And that’s just one of the many tools out there that have a free entry-level option.
  2. Understand the big data world. You want to make sure you’re picking the right tools for your use cases. Articles like this one can help. Working with an experienced vendor can really help!
  3. Invest in the cloud and in the right people. If you suddenly flood your business with customer data, it won’t do much good if you don’t have someone who can help you understand it. The right talent is in high demand! You can also partner with an awesome vendor who is filled with excellent, talented people.