At this point, the number of blogs and articles about Big Data probably surpasses the amount of data collected by a typical organization. For every company trying to solve the “data problem”, the issue isn’t just sheer size. That is just the starting point, and granted, it is a major hurdle to jump, but that isn’t the finish line.
Take what Google’s Chief Scientist Peter Norvig once said: “We don’t have better algorithms than anyone else; we just have more data.” At first glance, it might seem that his quote contradicts my point that there is more to the conversation than just the amount of data. However, think about what he says closely. Norvig is not saying that “more data” is the only competitive advantage they have. Having the most data without a good algorithm would not help them, just as having the best algorithm with no data would be equally as detrimental. Any company can come up with an algorithm, as there a ton of smart people capable of such jobs. The competitive advantage for Google is they have a lot of data, in addition to a great algorithm.
With complex matters such as this, it is never about this or that, black or white, Big Data or a Big Data tool. For companies across any sector trying to increase revenue opportunities, improve customer experience, or transform business operations, the amount of data is not the end of their problems. They also need a modern data architecture that will allow them to make sense of their data through deep analysis, find patterns for predictive modeling, and turn this data into actionable intelligence for real-time decision making. That’s how they gain their competitive advantage; that’s how they become leaders in their industry.
Hortonworks offers enterprises the opportunity to excel at what they are already good at and solve the challenges of the business, so they don’t have to worry about the data problems as well. When you talk about the size of the data, that is just one level to the conversation as the speed, complexity and disparate number of sources the data is coming from makes matters even more complicated. Take a retailer for example. With social media, ever-changing mobile technologies, targeted ads, and the plethora of other channels to reach a customer, more and more, businesses are forced to excel in their core competency, but also become data companies as well.
As I said, it is never either/or anymore. With unstructured and structured data in motion and data at rest, businesses can’t govern these data assets in isolation. They have to make sense of them in conjunction with each other, and across the entire global enterprise. Not only that, but the solution has to be secure on-prem, in the cloud, or in hybrid environments. Either through competition, customer demand, or the need to stay on the cutting edge of new technologies, companies are being forced out of their lane and into the vast landscape of Big Data. Don’t get bogged down in the size of it anymore because Hortonworks can take care of that. The real focus for your organization should be what it has always been, while we take care of the rest.