Last week saw two compelling local big data events here in So Cal, both sponsored by MapR. I thought I’d provide a short recap of the events for those who were unable to attend. I was on a panel for the first event, “Digital Transformation in Big Data” and the discussion revolved around MapR’s unique vision for the “3 Keys to Digital Transformation.” For a detailed discussion, these points are well described in a recent blog post. I gave my perspective both as a data science consultant and tech journalist. First, as a data scientist I see the desire for digital transformation all the time, as this is the primary reason why my clients choose to engage the data science process. Taking the next step by moving toward a converge data platform is more of a challenge. I provided an anecdote about a SaaS company I worked with that desperately needed convergence in their data platform. Their entire operation was centered around their SaaS product operations, but very little was done for company analytics, in fact, most of their data silos for analytics were stored in Excel. A year-long Hadoop project ensued, but failure was inevitable because the company couldn’t (or wouldn’t) accept the value of data convergence. There were strong lessons learned from this use case – in order to achieve true digital transformation, a company has to accept benefits of a converge data platform as shown in the figure below.
As a tech journalist, I see a different perspective for digital transformation. I’m literally bombarded every day with news of new products, solutions and services from members of the big data vendor ecosystem that strive to keep pushing the technology envelope forward. A few years ago it was all about Hadoop, then Spark, then last year it was all about IoT, and this year AI and deep learning is king. The point is, the technology focus may change from year-to-year, but the goal is the same – digital transformation, or deriving more value in the form of insights from enterprise data assets.
The second MapR event was a full day of “Big Data Everywhere” with a focus on big data technologies, including Hadoop and Spark. The conference brought together practitioners and developers to share their experience via technical sessions and real-life user success stories. Industry and technical experts shared their knowledge, discuss best practices, and describe use cases and business applications related to their successes with a converged data platform. My presentation was all about “How Enterprises Are Using IoT Analytics to Drive Competitive Advantage.” I gave an overview of IoT, provided a series of value drivers resulting in ROI for the enterprise, discussed some challenges for deploying IoT, and wrapped with a list of “best practices” for engaging IoT technology.
I enjoy these local tech events because they tend to attract people who are looking for real solutions to specific problems. From the comments I got after each event, I came away believing that attendees heard something of value and were ready to take the next step toward digital transformation.
Contributed by Daniel D. Gutierrez, Managing Editor of insideBIGDATA. In addition to being a tech journalist, Daniel also is a practicing data scientist, author, educator and sits on a number of advisory boards for various start-up companies.