by Shweta Rao

Demystifying Big Data

Dec 17, 20132 mins
AnalyticsBig DataBusiness

At the CIO Year Ahead 2014, India’s IT decision-makers discussed ways to convert tons of unstructured data to actionable insights for incremental capacity and performance.

Conversations around big data have reached a stage where we have an evolved definition about the technology today. The growth in quantity of unstructured data is clearly outpacing that of structured data. Add to that unrelenting cost pressures—due to the explosion of unstructured data, the need for providing differentiated services, and the availability of better functionalities and professional support, and one gets an idea of the challenge at hand.  Enterprises and service providers are demanding scale and resilience at affordable costs to address data challenges and to build the foundation for cloud computing. EMC, in collaboration with CIO magazine, held a roundtable to enable India’s IT decision-makers discuss ways to convert tons of unstructured data to actionable insights.  “There is no doubt that unstructured data is growing strongly. The challenge is to figure out if it is actually enterprise data or just end-user data? How much of it is actually useful for the enterprise?” said Rajiv Rajda, VP-Information Systems at Kodak India.  Most Indian organizations are looking for an effective way to tackle scalability. “Continental Automotive Systems has a 142-year legacy. So, the amount of pure data that we tackle everyday is extremely huge and complicated. There’s also a lot of R&D that happens in the manufacturing domain which is extremely process-oriented. Matured analytics tools help tracing components on the shop floor during production. Even a single bad component means an entire batch gets rejected. All these components require big data tools to be agile,” said Valerio Fernandes, CIO at Continental Automotive Systems. “Structured and unstructured data present a massive opportunity to discover actionable insights that can change the course of businesses, countries, and lives. But, most of this user-generated unstructured data resides on corporate servers, where most of the CIO’s time is spent on safeguarding and archiving content, owing to legal compliance and global policies. The other problem is dealing with storage, security, and backup of this unstructured data. We are also just scratching the tip of the challenge in terms of gaining insights and analysis of this data. As a CMO, I believe this user data today can be used extensively in market research to gain a better understanding of business,” said Yasir Yousuff, regional product marketing director (APJ) – Isilon Division, EMC.