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Analytics for Human Information: Why Hadoop does not equal HaDone

ChrisSurdak ‎09-11-2013 10:02 AM - edited ‎04-26-2016 03:20 PM

Over the last several months, I have spoken with a large number of organizations who have begun to explore the emerging world of Big Data.  In particular these organizations have started to build out Hadoop environments; hiring “Data Rock Stars”, deploying Hadoop in massive server clusters and loading it up with giant amounts of sample data, etc.  Nearly all of these companies have seemed to have a similar experience.  Once they built their environment they looked at one another and collectively said, “Now what?”


This is not terribly surprising, as Big Data is still in the early phases of its adoption life cycle and is still riding a wave of hype and excitement across the technology landscape.  However, the results of the lack of apparent business value in these implementations will necessarily feed into a cycle of disillusionment with Big Data and the tools that support it. Fortunately for those of us at HP, we have lived through decades of such technology cycles, and hence we have a great deal of experience in how to extract value from new technologies throughout their lifecycle.


HAVEn is our response to many companies’ Hadoop hangover.  HAVEn recognizes and leverages the great capabilities inherent in Hadoop and integrates those capabilities with our Vertica, Autonomy and Enterprise Security products.  The result is a complete analytics platform, rather than merely a justifiably-spectacular MapReduce engine. The collective elements of HAVEn create a total solution to Big Data problems, one that addresses both the consumption and digestion of vast quantities of structured and unstructured data and the need for businesses to actually ACT upon the results of their analytic efforts.


This final point is fundamental and is worth emphasizing.  Much of the effort around Big Data thus far has focused upon how to consume and understand vast quantities of information.  But the reason for performing all of these analyses is not to develop understanding alone. It cannot be an academic exercise.  Rather, the point of the trillions of dollars of investment that businesses will make in Big Data over the coming decade must be to create better actions; better outputs. And while this present era of exploring these technologies and what they are capable of is important, it is still more important that we quickly move our organizations so that they can act upon the insights that are generated through Big Data.


Through HAVEn, HP has built a technology platform that both enables the generation of new, unique, and valuable insight as well as a business’ ability to act upon that information in new and unique ways.  With Vertica driving real-time analysis of petabytes of structured data, HP Autonomy providing deep, conceptual understanding of unstructured human data, organizations can create new knowledge that can lead to dramatically better business decisions and hence better business results, all the while ensuring the proper governance of all of this information with security products such as ArcSight. It is an exciting time to be part of the Information Technology business, as our whole industry reorients itself away from “Technology” and towards a greater focus upon “Information.”


So, if you are amongst those organizations who have been working with Hadoop and are wondering what all of the hype is about, don’t despair.  “Doing Hadoop” does not mean that you’re “Hadone.”  Rather, you’re just getting started.  As you gain experience in how to consume vast amounts of data begin to look for ways in which this investment can lead to better outcomes.  This is the path towards better understanding, better customer engagement, more efficient operations and fundamentally greater returns on your organization’s ongoing investment in Information Technology.


I’d like to recommend Dan Burke’s great blog post discussing taking insight to action. And check out our microsite for more information and a free whitepaper. 


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About the Author


Chris Surdak is a Subject Matter Expert on Information Governance, analytics and eDiscovery for HP Autonomy. He has over 20 years of consulting and technology experience, and holds a Juris Doctor from Taft University, an MS from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, a CISSP Master's Certificate from Villanova and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State. Chris is author of the Big Data strategy book, "Data Crush," which was recently nominated as International Book of the Year for 2014, by GetAbstract. Chris is also contributing editor and columnist for European Business Review magazine.

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