One Way or Another, SMBs Need to Solve Integration with Cloud Analytics

Loraine Lawson
Slide Show

Harnessing the Power of Big Data with Geospatial Mapping

Analytics as a service seems perfect for small- and mid-size businesses. Certainly that’s where I’ve noticed vendors targeting their pitches.

We all know Big Data analytics isn’t for the faint of heart. You have the Big Data infrastructure, the integration work, and as if that’s not enough, the staffing issues. For many organizations, all of it makes “late adopter” status sound mighty tempting.

The problem is, the experts say you’re jeopardizing your business to do so. A recent Smart Data Collective column includes this alarming quote from Adrian Gardner, director of IT & communications directorate at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center:

“Companies will have to morph for big data. The companies that flow with information will survive, but we're going to be overwhelmed.”

I’ve seen similar warnings from various technology and business research analysts.

Who knows if they’re right or not — the point is, you can see why SMBs might feel some angst about it.

The author of the column, Blue Ocean Solutions Managing Director Mithun Sridharan, writes that additional drivers include too much internal data operating within “established structures that make innovating on existing frameworks challenging,” or too many problems with previous internal Big Data projects, such as cost overruns.

A recent Midsize Insider post offers yet another incentive for analytics as a service: data integration.

That made my Spidey-senses tingle since integration is often listed as a major challenge with anything “as a service.” But I kept reading. The basic argument in the post (which, I noted, was “brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business,”), argues that analytics as a service can simplify integration if you hire an “external partner with data integration experience.”

I’ve no doubt that’s true, but wouldn’t SMBs more likely see that as an added expense, rather than a driver for analytics as a service?

Webinars for the week of Sept. 22-26

Has Traditional MDM Finally Met its Match?” 4 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Sept. 23. Dr. Robin Bloor will explain how the Hadoop ecosystem, powered by YARN, can transform MDM into a tighter platform that can “finally deliver” on the original promise of MDM — one source of truth for your master data. As Bullwinkle told Rocky the Flying Squirrel, “This time for sure!” He’ll also be briefed on RedPoint Global’s unified data management platform, which does combine MDM with Hadoop.

Essential Guide to Using Data Virtualization for Big Data Analytics,” 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT, Wednesday, Sept. 24. Forrester analyst Mike Gualtieri will lead this Information Webinar featuring both IBM and data virtualization firm Denodo. Gualtieri researches application development and delivery. Gualtieri, IBM VP of Data Management Products & Strategy Phil Francisco, and Denodo Senior VP Suresh Chandrasekaran will discuss key business drivers and patterns for advanced analytics, use cases and other aspects of an integrated analytics platform.

Modeling Metadata,” 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, Thursday, Sept. 25. Karen Lopez of “Love Your Data” fame will moderate a panel discussion on the challenges and options for modeling metadata. Lopez is a senior project manager and architect at InfoAdvisors. This event is part of an ongoing Dataversity series, “Big Challenges with Data Modeling.”

Loraine Lawson is a veteran technology reporter and blogger. She currently writes the Integration blog for IT Business Edge, which covers all aspects of integration technology, including data governance and best practices. She has also covered IT/Business Alignment and IT Security for IT Business Edge. Before becoming a freelance writer, Lawson worked at TechRepublic as a site editor and writer, covering mobile, IT management, IT security and other technology trends. Previously, she was a webmaster at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and a newspaper journalist. Follow Lawson at Google+ and on Twitter.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Sep 20, 2014 9:03 AM Jason Hannula Jason Hannula  says:
Loraine, I agree that bundling integration with analytic services adds expense for SMBs. My experience suggests that this can still be less than the total cost (both monetary and time to completion) of developing or hiring internal resource if the SMB lacks data integration expertise. Unless data and analytics are core business functions, leaving the specialized task of integration to expert service provides makes good business sense for SMBs. Reply
Sep 25, 2014 10:05 AM Loraine Loraine  says: in response to Jason Hannula
Thanks for sharing your insight. Reply

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