'Big Data Festivus' for the Rest of Us: Webinars Explore the Options

Loraine Lawson
Slide Show

The Business Impact of Big Data

Many business executives want more information than ever, even though they're already drowning in it.

Hadoop may be making it possible to store and process large amounts of structured and unstructured data - but it hasn't really made it easy or usable, at least in terms of most organizations.


Despite all the excitement around Hadoop, the harsh reality is it can be difficult to put the data to use. It's great if you have R programmers on staff with MapReduce experience and a few data scientists to make sense of it, but let's face it: that's a small number of organizations.


What we need is Big Data for the rest of us - a "Big Data Festivus," if you will.


Attracted by the scent of Big Money and Even Bigger Hype, vendors in data integration and business intelligence are rushing in to help. I joke about motives, but it's actually a good thing. The fact is, the only way most organizations are going to be able to tap into Big Data is through add-ons to other solutions, and I try to share them as often as I can.


One recent announcement that caught my eye was from Birst, a business analytics software provider. There are a couple of interesting aspects of Birst's offering:

  • It's targeting midsize organizations.
  • The focus is making Hadoop more business-friendly, which means it includes visualization tools such as multi-dimensional models.
  • To help with the IT staffing issues around Hadoop, Birst says its solution bypasses the need for extensive ETL work, allowing business analysts to "discover new relationships and patterns in data without locking them into manual ETL processes."


If you'd like to learn more about how Birst works with Hadoop, you might want to register for the company's free webinar on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 1 p.m. ET.


Jaspersoft is another company that recently announced support for Big Data analytics in its 4.5 release. If you'd like to learn more about that, a free webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 1 p.m. ET.


Finally, Hadoop isn't the only option when it comes to Big Data. There are other NoSQL solutions, including Cassandra, that can help you tackle Big Data. The Bloor Group is offering a free webinar to explore NoSQL solutions tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb. 21).


Analyst Robin Bloor will kick off the event with a discussion on how databases have evolved in the past two decades. He'll also talk with Apache Cassandra Project Chair and DataStax CTO Jonathan Ellis, who will share NoSQL case studies Netflix and Constant Contact.

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