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Spice up your BI with Big Data

In a previous blog post I asked rhetorically if Big Data is redefining BI? And of course I had a good feeling that it did. The feeling was based on the fact that we saw bits and pieces from different sources – including some from vendors whom you wouldn’t expect to be early movers. Essentially, the conclusion that “Big Data is becoming the next version of BI” was based on those pieces. Today, more than half a year later the Big Data pieces really start to form into a solved puzzle – and one with a pretty picture of BI on it. Platon primarily work with customers here in this cold northern part of Europe called Scandinavia. In many areas of life Scandinavians appreciate the confidence and security of our society and that often has an influence on our customers’ decision-making, i.e. the decision on when and how to start with Big Data is strongly influenced by the customers’ confidence in their software vendor. Now, basically all BI vendors present in the Scandinavian market have some Big Data twist to their BI offering, and whether it is Oracle, IBM, SAP, Teradata, SAS, etc., their most dominating marketing answer is Appliance – and therefore also big investments!
I didn’t include Microsoft in the list above, but to be honest Microsoft also has a Data Warehouse Appliance called Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW). The financial investment in PDW is most likely more or less the same as some of the other vendors’, but what is more interesting and very good news for BI folks who want to get started on Big Data is the Microsoft announcement of HDInsight. HDInsight is essentially “Hadoop for Windows”. Windows Server can be on the premise as we know it or it can be Windows Azure in the Cloud, but what’s important for our customers is that it actually runs on Windows. Apache Hadoop has previously been limited to Linux and many corporate IT teams has standardized on Windows in order to minimize risk. Not that Linux is no good, but most IT departments generally lack skills on multiple operating systems as they want to be able manage the infrastructure with limited staff and using existing tools. A DBA want to manage all “databases” in a single place whether is it SQL based or non-structured. Even beyond the IT department some of the same convenience issues drives Business Intelligence people (unlike Data Scientists) to stretch existing BI capabilities to also include analytics and visualization of new/other types of data (size, format etc.), but still using existing familiar BI tools. This is exactly what is provided in Microsofts HDInsight packaging: A very user friendly web installer, SQL Management Studio plugin for the DBA, Hive ODBC for connectivity, JavaScripting etc. – but most importantly someone to call with the responsibility.
Platon is proud to have been appointed Microsoft Big Data Partner and to participate in this partner incubation program as one out of a few select partners globally. This is primarily due to our early work with Hadoop but very importantly also based on our proven skills as leading Scandinavian BI/IM specialist for more than a decade. We look forward to support HDInsight and bringing Hadoop to the huge “BI on Windows” segment and continuing to bring additional analytics and visualization capabilities on “any data” (four V’s) though new interesting BI (and Big Data) use cases. Actually, anyone interested can already today download the HDInsight preview, install it, and start to spice up the existing BI with additional insights from Any Data and essentially democratize Big Data!


About Stig Torngaard

Stig is Platon Practice Director for Big Data. He is one of the leading consultants in Platon and has more than 20 years IT experience with 15 years dedicated to BI. Stig founded Platons Microsoft practice back in 2001 and has worked as architect in the Microsoft Information Management space since the introduction of SQL Server 2000. The last two years the focus has been on Big Data and Advanced Analytics aspects of Information Mangement


2 thoughts on “Spice up your BI with Big Data

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  1. Pingback: Hands-on with Hadoop and HDInsight | picnicerror.net - March 8, 2013

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