Welcome!

Java Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Trevor Parsons, Jason Bloomberg

Related Topics: Big Data Journal, Wireless, Web 2.0, Cloud Expo, Apache, SDN Journal

Big Data Journal: Article

Taming the Big Data Beast

When it comes to effective mobile strategy, it’s not Big Data, it’s the right data

If you're not convinced the hype around Big Data is entirely justified, consider the following statistics: in the time it takes an average person to read this article, 72 petabytes of data (that's 72 x 1015 if you're counting) will have been added to the global information pool. Each hour, Walmart processes more than 1 million customer transactions, logging data into databases estimated to contain more than 2.5 petabytes of data - the equivalent of 167 times the information contained in all the books in the U.S. Library of Congress. Facebook uploads 500 terabytes of new information daily. The volume of global business data generated is doubling every 1.2 years.

The Big Data phenomenon is real. It's happening in every sector of the economy, from government to education to private business. In addition to the oft-cited storage, security and analysis questions Big Data brings, it also has an unprecedented opportunity to impact your company and its mobile strategy.

The explosion of mobile device use among business users, for example, is often cited by analysts as one of the main sources of today's data explosion. IT analyst firm Gartner predicts that by 2015 mobile phones will outnumber PCs as the most popular web access devices. Users with the ability to capture date on mobile devices, through bar codes, GPS apps, QR readers, or manual input, have greatly contributed to the growing data stream.

Big Data and mobility share much more than a cause and effect relationship or places on Gartner's list of top 2013 technology trends. They are linked in ways that offer game-changing value-creation opportunities to companies that effectively tie the collection of information to the delivery of real-time decision support to mobile executives. While members of the executive and IT teams continue the debate over data storage options, methods of securing and managing privacy concerns around customer data continue to linger. Mobility executives also face their own set of unique Big Data challenges including the best ways to analyze the dramatically expanding information flow.

If managed correctly, leveraging Big Data as a key component of your mobile development strategy can pay off in increased sales, better corporate performance and improved efficiency. If not properly managed, you'll simply be contributing to the $900 billion in information overload costs industries suffer every year.

More important, it's not just about Big Data, it's about getting the right data into the hands of the right person, at the right time. That means having the strategy, applications and tools necessary to ensure efficient two-way interaction between remote workers and their corporate data systems.

The core of the Big Data promise is developing a strategy that delivers key real-time information to remote users and allows them to access the specific information they need to perform critical tasks, i.e., prep for a sales call, manage a customer issue or drive a critical business decision. Keeping these same remote users insulated from extraneous information that is out of date or unnecessary must also be a part of an effective mobile data management strategy.

How you build mobility solutions that combine multiple data sets into a single usable data-driven application could make the difference between the critical app sales depends on and the one that is abandoned as irrelevant or too difficult to use. Recent studies have shown that sales reps access data from as many as 15 different sources to collect valuable information about contacts and prospects. And a significant majority of executives believe that their sales reps miss opportunities because they can't keep up with this information.

At the other extreme, forcing mobile sales executives to wade through seemingly endless emails and data streams to extract the specific information that could really make a business difference - that the customer has just been placed on credit hold and new sales orders are suspended, for example, or that the next appointment of the day has just cancelled allowing more sales time opportunity with the current prospect - can create equal challenges.

It's not just sales and customer support personnel who benefit from an effective mobile data strategy. Imagine a remote inventory manager with the ability, when alerted in real time to the fact that a key supplier just failed to make delivery on a needed component, to trigger alternative sourcing strategies that would keep the production lines moving and avoid disruption of product delivery. Or the executive, when presented with real-time analysis of poor operating performance in a region, can reach across time zones from a mobile device to make an emergency conference call to implement corrective action. In fact, 63% of executives in a recent SAS/Economist survey said having the ability to rapidly process information is having a significant impact on their strategic decision making ability.

The key to all of the above scenarios is, again, having the right data at hand, delivered on the right device (which is most often defined as the device of choice of the mobile user) without forcing the user to do their own data mining. Accomplishing this requires a mobile strategy that:

  1. Accounts for an increasing volume of data input sources
  2. Provides the flexibility to alter application functionality based on user input
  3. Strikes the appropriate balance between user access and maintaining data security at the enterprise level
  4. Maintains a rapid mobile application development process

As you consider how the convergence of Big Data and mobile will impact you in the months ahead, here are five things that might help keep you on the right path as you develop and implement a longer-term strategy:

  1. Analyze the data streams - look at all potential sources of data to separate what data is being captured, what is stored and what is being constantly updated.
  2. Identify all internal business information needs - start by taking a classic BI approach of identifying what each business organization needs to improve decision-making and competitive advantage.
  3. Map the connection points to find data synergies - you most likely will be able to solve your organization's Big Data challenge in a single strategy but identifying overlapping needs can help establish priorities.
  4. Make this a long-term strategy with regular evaluation milestones - this will allow you to focus on what can be delivered in the near term without sacrificing longer term objectives and should improve the chances of your plan paying off in real value.
  5. Don't overlook the chance to leverage mobile workers as collection points. While getting the right information to remote workers should be a priority, the best strategies deploy a two-way approach that enables easy real-time updating of critical information from mobile users.

Big Data, like mobility, is not a trend or a passing fad; it's a fundamental element of 21st century business operations. Effectively organizing and delivering the results of that analysis to today's mobile management teams must have a place on every mobile and IT executive's priority list.

More Stories By George Mashini

George Mashini is CEO of Catavolt. He has helped establish Catavolt as a market innovator in the areas of hybrid cloud computing and mobile business applications by creating software that leverages existing systems along with new technology. He is focused on applying new techniques and technologies in innovative ways that bring business value to Catavolt’s customers.

In his previous leadership role at Paragon Software, George experienced all phases of enterprise software growth as part of the core management team. In 2005, he was part of a core team at Paragon that led the company to a successful exit for its investors via a sale to Infor Global Solutions. He has been in the enterprise software field for 13 years with experience in software development, project management, professional services organizations, product management and executive management.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device experiences grounded in people's real needs and desires.
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...