Addressing enterprise needs with Hadoop and business analytics

Since big data and business analytics tools such as Apache Hadoop first emerged, numerous organizations have deployed these resources to improve their enterprise operations by examining internal inefficiencies as well as identifying previously unknown external factors that had hindered growth opportunities. Despite the technologies' meteoric rise, some business leaders still retain their reservations regarding its use. Data analytics can appear unwieldy at first glance, but once key decision makers have gotten over their initial concerns, they will find an immeasurable resource for finding new actionable insights.

Enterprise IT analyst Dana Gardner recently interviewed analytics expert Darin Bartik for ZDNet, examining the challenges that businesses commonly face when launching a big data campaign. According to Bartik, many unsuccessful data analytics projects fail because team leaders treat big data as a silver bullet solution. In these situations, researchers were content to simply gather massive sets of data with no clear goal for their application. A successful business analytics initiative should establish concrete questions that need answering or an operational facet that could be improved. Depending on the circumstances facing an individual organization, those questions and needs will change. Those specific issues should guide analytics project leaders to the most suitable source of information.

"If your business challenge is an operational efficiency or a cost problem, where you have too much cost in the business and you're trying to pull out operational expense and not spend as much on capital expense, you can look at your operational data," Bartik stated, according to the source.

Data integration opportunities expand
Gaining access to that information is becoming easier as data analytics tools become more sophisticated. The Hadoop open source platform has continually been updated to allow for more legacy data sets to be integrated with big data software. Jack Miller, chief technology officer for real estate firm The Goodlife Team, spoke about the ability for businesses to deploy data analytics tools at a recent conference.

"In the past three years, costs have gone through the floor," Miller explained, according to Inman News. "The cost of doing (data) integration is so cheap now. The ability for you to integrate and pull in data now from (different sources) has completely changed. You can build something in an afternoon."

The value of an open source framework such as a Hadoop architecture is that new systems are continually being integrated with its platform. A proprietary business analytics or big data service may strictly prohibit which data environments can engage with it, limiting the reach, accuracy and effectiveness of a project.

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New Analytics Apps

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