How Big Data Will Show Companies the Money

Loraine Lawson
Slide Show

Seven Ways to Get Started With Big Data

MapR’s CEO and Co-founder John Schroeder says that in the new year, we’ll see hear more about how companies are using Hadoop to build revenue, as opposed to use cases that focus on cost savings.

Given the whole “fiscal cliff” discussion, I think we can all agree that would be a nice change of pace.

Analyst and Constellation Research CEO R “Ray” Wang penned a piece last week related to this topic of how Big Data can be used to make money. Rather than looking at how companies are using it to drive revenue, though, he’s focused exclusively on new business models that are emerging in the Big Data world.

According to Wang, Big Data is the foundation for three main approaches. The first: Creating new experiences that differentiate yourself from competitors.

For instance, he writes, Google’s AdSense uses Big Data to push ads that are actually related to what you’re currently trying to find on Google — or, as I’ve noticed recently — what you’re talking about on Gmail. It’s using contextual relevance to improve customer experience and satisfaction, he explains.

Google tends to be ahead of the curve on, well, everything, but that capability may soon be available to the non-Web 2.0 company in the new future. Schroeder explained to me that he expects more organizations will be able to use Hadoop for real-time applications in the coming year, thanks to new technology changes to Hadoop.

The second approach Wang identified is new information brokerages, along the lines of Bloomberg, Dun & Bradstreet and Experien. The possibilities are endless, he notes, for those who can mash up raw data into new sources of detailed information about everything from customer buying habits and preferences to weather patterns.


One area where we may soon see some innovations along those lines: Telecommunications, which are exploring using HBase as a platform for lightweight OLTP, according to Schroeder. More on that in an upcoming ITBE Q&A …

Finally, Wang says, a new Big Data business model will be able to build the network for delivering this information.

“The most intriguing opportunities, though, may be in the creation of delivery networks where information is aggregated, exchanged, and reconstituted into newer and cleaner insight streams,” he writes. “Similar to the cable TV model for content delivery, these delivery networks will be the essential funnel through which information-based offerings will find their markets and be monetized.”

That may or may not relate to another Schroeder prediction: HBase will become a popular platform for BlobStores. We didn’t talk about BlobStores specifically and, while it’s obviously not a network, it’s a step in the direction of delivering large objects, right?

“One application that is particularly well suited for HBase is BLOB stores, which require large databases with rapid retrieval,” Schroeder writes in a TDWI article. “BLOBS — binary large objects — are typically images, audio clips or other multimedia objects, and storing BLOBs in a database enables a variety of innovative applications.”

One application they enable: Digital wallets, which, once opened, bring us back full circle to Big Data showing us the dough in 2013.



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