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Find your best route to Big Data (and listen to what the cat said!)


By Debbie Whitehurst, VP, TS Consulting AMS Data Center Consulting


There’s a scene in Alice in Wonderland where Alice asks the Cheshire cat “Which way I ought to go from here?” The cat replies: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” Alice says “I don’t much care where.” And the cat points out, “Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.” Many businesses are having that discussion about Big Data.


The jury is in—Big Data is real, and it’s working. Organizations have done pilot projects and found real business insight in data from social media, click streams, blogs, and other sources. So now what? The problem isn’t so much how to do it—we’re getting pretty good at that. The question is how and where each organization can apply Big Data analytics to achieve the most value.


We call these Big Data use cases, and they vary quite a bit by industry. For example, we’re seeing our finance industry customers get good value in fraud detection and risk management. Governments are finding good applications in law enforcement and counter terrorism. Internet service providers are all over advertising optimization. Retailers are finding new ways to track buyer behavior. And there are a number of use cases that apply to companies in any industry—things like sentiment analysis, brand monitoring, and marketing campaign management.


But, as the cat said, which way you should go depends a good deal on where you want to get to.


The consultants in our Big Data Consulting practice are getting quite a bit of experience helping our customers determine just that. Our consulting approach is to advise, transform, and manage—that is, help you develop a strategy and roadmap, implement the roadmap, and operate the resulting services effectively and efficiently. But today, I’d like to focus on the advise phase, because that’s where we answer the which-way-to-go question.


We start helping our customers answer that question in the HP Big Data Infrastructure Transformation Experience Workshop. This is a slide-free, interactive session where you and your stakeholders look hard at where you want to get to. Is your business goal to enter new markets? To broaden penetration in existing markets? To improve efficiency in your operations or supply chain? To develop new products meeting new needs? Does your CEO want to grow revenue, or is the goal to squeeze more cost out to grow the bottom line? These are the kinds of questions that begin to suggest which way you should go with Big Data.


We facilitate the workshop. And we bring the experience gained from working with hundreds of other customers in many industries to help you see what others have done and what is possible. Of course, the HP Big Data Infrastructure Transformation Experience Workshop is just a start. So in the workshop we identify the next steps to move you down the road.


HP’s HAVEn Big Data platform (it stands for Hadoop, Autonomy, Vertica, Enterprise Security, and apps) is the most comprehensive approach to Big Data in the industry. And we’ve learned to apply it to dozens of use cases in hundreds of companies. But we believe you should start down the Big Data road with a firm understanding of where you want to get to. (Sometimes it takes a cat to point out the obvious!)


You can find out about our new Enterprise Planning for HAVEn Service here, announced last month at HP Discover, and learn more about out Big Data solutions and services at our Big Data Services page.


And check out my podcast interview at HP Discover with Ian Jagger on how new ways to communicate, collaborate, and leverage data are transforming companies as the New Style of IT takes root.

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Great article - meow!

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