By now it is clear that big data analytics opens the door to unprecedented analytic opportunities for business innovation, customer retention and profit growth. However, a shortage of data scientists is creating a bottleneck as organizations move from early big data experiments into larger scale adoption. This constraint limits big data analytics and the positive business outcomes that could be achieved.
Click on the photo to hear from Comcast’s Jason Hull, Data Integration Specialist about how his team uses data virtualization to get what they need done, faster
It’s All About the Data
As every data scientist will tell you, the key to analytics is data. The more data the better, including big data as well as the myriad other data sources both in the enterprise and across the cloud. But accessing and massaging this data, in advance of data modeling and statistical analysis, typically consumes 50% or more of any new analytic development effort.
• What would happen if we could simplify the data aspect of the work?
• Would that free up data scientists to spend more time on analysis?
• Would it open the door for non-data scientists to contribute to analytic projects?
SQL is the key. Because of its ease and power, it has been the predominant method for accessing and massaging data for the past 30 years. Nearly all non-data scientists in IT can use SQL to access and massage data, but very few know MapReduce, the traditional language used to access data from Hadoop sources.
How Data Virtualization Helps
“We have a multitude of users…from BI to operational reporting, they are constantly coming to us requesting access to one server or another…we now have that one central place to say ‘you already have access to it’ and they immediately have access rather than having to grant access outside of the tool” -Jason Hull, Comcast
Data virtualization offerings, like Cisco’s, can help organizations bridge this gap and accelerate their big data analytics efforts. Cisco was the first data virtualization vendor to support Hadoop integration with its June 2011 release. This standardized SQL approach augments specialized MapReduce coding of Hadoop queries. By simplifying access to Hadoop data, organizations could for the first time use SQL to include big data sources, as well as enterprise, cloud and other data sources, in their analytics.
In February 2012, Cisco became the first data virtualization vendor to enable MapReduce programs to easily query virtualized data sources, on-demand with high performance. This allowed enterprises to extend MapReduce analyses beyond Hadoop stores to include diverse enterprise data previously integrated by the Cisco Information Server.
In 2013, Cisco maintained its big data integration leadership with updates of its support for Hive access to the leading Hadoop distributions including Apache Hadoop, Cloudera Distribution (CDH) and Hortonworks (HDP). In addition, Cisco now also supports access to Hadoop through HiveServer2 and Cloudera CDH through Impala.
We recently attended Retail Banking 2014 in Orlando, FL, where a wealth of information and best practices were shared, with much of the focus on how the banking industry is moving forward with the evolution of the customer experience. This year’s conference focused on the issues that bankers must deal with now and in the future: revenue growth, branch optimization, digital banking, analytics, the evolution of social media, and of course, Omnichannel.
I have highlighted below a few of the key concepts and quotes from the speakers at the conference that you might find interesting. Read More »
Moving to one-to-one relationships:It’s incredible to think about the impact and influence. Cisco predicts $14.4 trillion of value will be “at stake” over the next decade, driven by “connecting the unconnected” through the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE triggers a 19 trillion dollar global opportunity based upon the growth statistics of more than a 7.2 billion population, with an average of 3.47 devices per person, yielding more than 25 billion IP connected devices all by 2015, growing to 50 billion by 2020. TED Talks keynote speaker, Rick Smolan, author of The Human Face of Big Data, comments, “It’s like the earth is growing a nervous system.”
How does this impact the insurance industry? On a one-to-one level, customer’s cars, houses and human anatomy (e.g. Fit Bit) can all be connected; providing critical information about risk and rewards in real-time. In the distribution channels, it can change the way carriers, agents and brokers conduct business, both virtually and face to face. Read More »
Collaboration is an inherently social concept. It’s about people and connection. It’s about communicating, working together, interacting to meet goals, accomplishing tasks, innovating, and creating. Just as people have unique personalities, so do the ways they collaborate for business, whether 1:1 or in groups, in structured meetings or hallway conversations, sitting at desks or on park benches, in real-time conversations or long-term interactions.
As technology evolves and geography becomes less relevant to connecting with others, the options for how we collaborate multiply. And multiply again. But technology itself is an enabler of collaboration, the value is in the connections that people make – with each other, information, and ideas.
Finding ways to improve the connections between people and the information they need to share is critical to improving business. From our perspective we want the technology to disappear; providing the ability for people to interact in the ways they interact best, wherever they are.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”―Helen Keller
We see great value in providing social solutions to our customers. Bringing together social networking with communications technology provides people with the means to collaborate and gives them flexibility to do the best work they can. Like Helen Keller, we believe people working together can achieve extraordinary things. We believe the same is true of companies.
Increasingly, organizations are looking for ways to integrate social solutions into their collaboration tools and business processes. Throughout the past decade, Cisco has continued to weave social into the fabric of our own collaboration portfolio. At the same time, we continuously looked for opportunities to collaborate with other companies to integrate new technologies and improve what we can offer our customers – bringing the best of the best together to provide our customers with the ideal solution to fit their business needs.