Data Pros Focused On ROI Of Initial Big Data Investments

Is 2016 truly the year of big action with big data?

Many of the attendees of the Strata & Hadoop World conference in San Jose apparently hope so. Acccording to Eric Sammer, co-founder and CTO at Rocana, many attendees he spoke with have now complete initial big data initiatives, and are looking for return on those investments this year.

Information Management asked Sammer for his observations on this year’s show, and what attendees said are the top data management challenges they are facing.

Information Management: What were the most common themes that you heard among conference attendees and how do they align with what you expected?

Eric Sammer: The most common theme heard was the replacement of legacy systems. This differs from previous years where there were a lot of pilot and test projects. This year it seemed like those pilots had established enough ROI that customers are looking to mainstream big data solutions, especially in the data warehousing and IT operations use cases.

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Q: What were the most common data challenges voiced by attendees?

ES: The two most common challenges we heard were (1) how do I determine which data I should be keeping and for how long should I be keeping it; and (2) a need for purpose-built analytics for specific use cases,�versus generic analytics and machine-learning libraries.

The first is a learning issue, as historically the cost of storage has mandated operational processes that eradicate “low-value” data and quickly move most other data to off-line backups. With big data and the low-cost of storage, the�data management drivers have changed to compliance and governance issues.

With big data analytics, data formerly considered low-value data can now be used to generate critical insights, like customer sentiment or customer experience measurements. So, IT teams are struggling with the question “should I really be throwing this away just because that’s what I’ve been doing for years?”

The second is a skillset issue.

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