Not every organization starts its big data journey from the same place. Some have robust business intelligence functions and capabilities, while others are doing great things with Excel. However, in order to drive efficiencies, support expected future growth and to continue its evolution to a data-driven company, most organizations are reviewing their current suite of software solutions, platforms and documenting processes and areas of improvement along with devising and executing a strategy to deploy modern business intelligence capabilities. Here are three different ways organizations can leverage a big data platform to evolve and become a more data-driven company empowering their business users to make fact-based decisions.
- Baby Steps from EDW to Big Data
Organizations that already have an enterprise data warehouse (EDW) built to provide insights into their structured data are expanding this platform to incorporate unstructured data, which is stored using open source software. It’s entirely feasible to use open source software to set up a big data platform. There are also vendors like Oracle and IBM who offer both hardware and software to set up a big data platform.
- EDW on Big Data
Companies that did not have an EDW in the past and are looking to build a modern business intelligence platform are considering a big data platform to reduce software costs and lower their total cost of ownership (TCO) to build an EDW platform.
In a traditional data warehouse, all the required data needs to be structured before being stored in a relational database; this is also called “schema-on-write.” This approach significantly increases storage costs and also adds cost to the design of data models to store the information. ETL tools required to move and store such data add to the licensing cost. Since a big data platform stores data in a data lake and creates schema-on-read by using ML algorithms instead of a manual effort, it significantly reduces the cost to store and structure data, thereby reducing the TCO to build an EDW.
- Big Data Cloud Platforms
Cloud-based big data projects offer the opportunity to start a big data initiative, without the upfront capital investment and with the benefit of support from a cloud partner. Google, Amazon, Oracle, and Microsoft offer various cloud services for organizations to validate their proof-of-value ideas by leveraging big data cloud infrastructure.
Regardless of the approach taken, one thing is abundantly clear: big data is not going anywhere, and AI and ML will only increase the need for a big data solution. Every enterprise, and particularly the C-suite, needs to understand big data and how it can add value to the organization in order to drive change and lead projects from the top down. Each of the approaches outlined above can be incorporated into your organization’s big data roadmap, the development of which should be every organization’s first step.