The focus of the technology community has been shifting recently from Cloud, to Mobility, to Social Media, and now to Big Data. We are good at creating something new and keeping the CIOs busy with replete choices for their next-gen organization, or as we like to call it in Infosys - Tomorrow's Enterprise. But recently the foray into Big Data from various segments has drawn mixed perceptions, ranging from "solving the unsolvable" to "a solution searching for the problem". I would like to put both view across and let you decide.
First let's summarize what this is. Simply put Big Data refers to large chunks of data which satisfies the following qualification criteria (or at least most of them):
- Unstructured Data
- High Volume
- High Complexity
- High Variety
- Low Value Density
- High Velocity
Now when we refer to Big Data w.r.t. enterprise application then it is usually about taming this monster to produce valuable information like customer insight, pattern identification, statistical analysis, etc. Current BI & Data Warehousing tools are largely inadequate to do this for a variety of reasons, more or less the same as the qualification criteria for big data.
Now the generic solution description for a big-data application may consist of the following components at a high-level. In reality the configuration is not this simplistic, but it is intended to get the point through.View image
Now coming to the usage of big-data applications in real world there have been a few use-cases doing the rounds. Each industry has its own version. For e.g. for Communications Industry we have a use-case of a user driving by a mall and his telecom operator (which is location aware due to the inherent nature of its business) pushing out limited time offers for specific partner stores of user's interests. Here user interests are refined using Big Data application where the source of this information may lie in social media streams, demographic analysis, account data from enterprise, etc.
Now while some feel that this is too far-fetched an application, or the probability of success is low, there are others who are daring to delve into it and reap the early mover advantage. I would like to stop at this juncture here (so that it doesn't end up influencing you in one direction) and request your comments on this. We can decide collectively which way it is going...