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Return on Big Data – How Workload Automation Plays a Key Role

A few weeks ago I participated in on a webinar panel  http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=404085&s=1&k=639DAC16BAF88F2B7260152679635F00
around Big Data and the return on that data.  I was joined by Ivan Chong, EVP from Informatica http://blogs.informatica.com/perspectives/author/ivan-chong/ and Van Baltz, VP and CIO of Station Casinos, http://www.stationcasinos.com/, where we discussed Van’s aggressive project to roll out a realtime big data system.  This  deployment , using Informatica Powercenter and the Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler was an impressive project that drove both a new architecture and critical changes to the people, processes and technologies.   Ivan used a great analogy around the exhaust from applications.   Nowadays, IT shops deploy and run many applications that run the real-time business for their companies.  All these applications produce exhaust, namely the data after all that work is done.  This data is very valuable.  It can tell a lot about your business, your customers and your execution to meet the corporate financials.

Cisco’s Tidal Enterprise Scheduler is a master at moving this data around and processing it so that the business IT users have the data they need to run a real-time business.

All of those endpoints in your business, whether they be slot machines or data sources from your business partners need to be managed and integrated from a data perspective.  As Ivan said,  it is not the biggest data that wins but the best data.  Having the right data in the right place at the right time with the right data quality is critical in making the right decisions in an enterprise.

Van also mentioned best practices for deploying a large datawarehousing project and what Return on Data means.

It is not just about the technology.  His list of best practices to ensure change is successful is very relevant toward datawarehouseing projects and workload automation projects:

  • Have town hall meetings to align everyone in the company with the strategic direction, key IT initiatives and specifics about the particular project.  Make sure people transparently see how the project, with their support, aligns with the business objectives.
  • Directors and Managers are the workhorses of strategic change.  They go out and evangelize in their group meetings and whenever they get the chance to link the project details with the high order business bits.
  • The implementation teams have daily huddles.  I really like this “Agile” approach.  Too often I have seen projects get delayed days and weeks over email thread nightmares.  Getting the entire team together around a project and focus efforts on what is needed until the next huddle helps focus everyone toward success
  • Finally, a little competition helps drive teams in the same direction.   I often call this management by embarrassment.  When you deploy an automation project or data warehouse initiative, it is good to see a little competition between departments or groups as shown in a scorecard.  Which business unit or application team has the most automation in place, which group had the best data quality?   No one wants to be behind in a CIO level scorecard.

Workload automation in the Cisco methodology:   Tidal Enterprise Scheduler value to Station Casinos’ business:

Who knew slots could be this high tech…

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