Collecting large amounts of data for no apparent purpose is generally a waste of both time and money. It's only when you combine sources of Big Data with analytic applications that derive some business benefit from all that data does making those kinds of investments make sense.
The good news is that the folks who build those analytic applications are finally coming up with ways to make leveraging Big Data a whole lot easier. For example, Jaspersoft and IBM today announced that they will be working together on a unified offering that integrates Jaspersoft's open source business intelligence software with IBM's implementation of Hadoop, called InfoSphere BigInsights.
At the same time, IBM at its Information OnDemand 2011 conference announced that it will be making a version of Infosphere BigInsights as a cloud computing service that will allow IT organizations to set up Hadoop clusters in under 30 minutes. IBM also announced that version 8.7 of its InfoSphere Information Server now supports connections to a variety of Big Data sources, including the Netezza analytics appliance that IBM acquired earlier this year.
Other highlights from the conference include the release of Cognos Mobile computing software on the Apple iPad, version 10.0 of the company's InfoSphere Master Data Management software that adds support for business process management software within the context of an MDM process, and the beta release of a new Sense and Respond application that is based on a real-time, context-sensitive analytics engine.
But the most significant news of the day is the integration of Jaspersoft's BI software using an HBase connector that simultaneously integrates Jaspersoft BI software with Hadoop platforms from IBM. The basic idea, says Karl Van den Bergg, Jaspersoft director of product strategy and alliances, is to provide a BI application that can directly access data in both platforms without requiring IT organizations to set up intermediary platforms to massage and manage the data.
By combining multiple platforms underneath the Jaspersoft BI application, Jaspersoft is taking the first steps towards unifying the access and management of multiple types of Big Data platforms at an application level that should ultimately mask the complexity of Big Data sources from the average end user.