Companies continue to invest large amounts of money, with spending on big data and business analytics expected to grow to more than $187 billion in 2019, according to International Data Corporation. However, the return on investment can be mixed, so it’s important to make the most of your big data initiatives—and an open source approach can help.
This approach enables faster innovation by harnessing the power of a community, and big data projects have been able to drive new applications, powered by the innovation that’s made more accessible by open source collaboration.
To make the most of the information their businesses collect, executives need to find ways to simplify their big data efforts to create standardization and achievable objectives. An open source approach offers many potential benefits. A community-focused form of development, it encourages highly talented individuals to improve products in real time, encouraging collaboration and breaking through many of the traditional constraints associated with commercial development.
The benefits of this community-focused model are now being used to help CIOs and their C-suite peers make the most of their big data investments. Leading commercial vendors recognize the challenges these executives face, both in terms of the disparate range of big data sources and technologies.
Using Industry-Standard Frameworks
The Open Data Platform initiative (ODPi) is one such model. ODPi is a nonprofit organization committed to the simplification and standardization of the big data ecosystem. The initiative creates a common reference platform, known as the ODPi Core, that allows users to plug into big data technologies.
Developments around this platform are focused on Apache Hadoop, an open software framework used for distributed storage and the processing of big data sets. ODPi-supporting organizations are keen to accelerate the adoption of Hadoop and related big data technologies to make it easier to rapidly develop applications through the common ODPi Core platform.
Launched in February 2015, ODPi operates under an open governance model and helps build a community to drive innovation around shared goals. Membership has more than doubled since launch and now draws on 26 organizations from a range of specialties, including application development, services consultancy and software distribution.
Translating Big Data Benefits to Your Business
Developments around ODPi help demonstrate how open source can be used to embrace a community-based approach that drives faster innovation, which can then be used to create business insights. Leading organizations, particularly in the public sector, are already demonstrating a willingness to use open standards to create new value for their organizations and citizens.
Private sector CIOs are taking that approach, too. Capital One CIO Rob Harding has spoken about his firm’s pilot work around big data on the Hadoop platform, which has led to significant time-to-market gains. The firm ran a prototype for underwriting and credit risk management on a Hadoop platform.
The general message from CIOs who have already embraced openness is that exposing your data sources to as big a range of developers as possible can help encourage innovation. Some executives will be concerned by the level of openness associated with this more collaborative way of working, but leading CIOs have already shown how the rewards outweigh the risks.
Taking Big Data to the Next Level
The rapid influx of digital information that’s available to enterprises has resulted in a big data ecosystem that’s being slowed by fragmented and duplicated efforts. Open source, through collaborative models such as ODPi, provides a way to bring structure to an increasingly complex world. Your business can use openness to drive business innovation and make sense of the information you collect. The result will be small insights that make a huge difference in terms of product development and competitive advantage.