The "data scientist in the cloud"... given the increased pressure on recruitment - this could be marketing bunkum, or it could easily be the solution everyone has been looking for.
Is there scope for start ups to not just offer tech advantages, but this level of brain power too? Big Data as a Service could be big news.
US retailer Sears asked those very same questions, and earlier this year it launched a subsidiary company called MetaScale that offers end-to-end solutions for big-data-as-a-service (BDaaS).
Paul Kincaid reports at StockTips that Sears spent several years developing its own distributed big data system and then realized there was a ripe market opportunity. The retail industry, especially, has a huge demand for big data insights. As competition between brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers heats up, the amounts of consumer data being gathered -- from sales demographics to mobile device data to shopping behavior, to just name a few -- are increasing exponentially.
As Kincaid reports, Sears realized that:
a) there are still not many off-the-shelf applications for platforms like Hadoop, and implementing a big data solution is a lot more difficult than for a regular database system, and b) at this time there is a shortage of skilled IT professionals with Hadoop experience and data scientists with the ability to analyze and exploit Big Data.
Sears isn't alone in seeing the market potential for BDaaS. Mark Thiele, executive VP of datacenter technology at Switch, predicted that "several (2-3) small start-ups will hit the lottery with easily consumed big data as a service solutions."
Seeing how the big data landscape is shaping up, BDaaS appears to be far from bunkum and is looking very close to being big news -- and big money, especially in the context of serving smaller businesses. Most businesses can't afford to hire the in-house resources necessary to put big data to good use, but even if such resources are a consideration, skilled data scientists may be difficult to find.
User Rank: Blogger 12/28/2012 | 5:30:24 AM
Re: Me and my nay saying I think a part of the progress will involve maturity and overall awareness @technetronic. While the whole concept of big data remains over hyped, the real benefits and aims will remain obscured - meaning the real reason for doing it remains obscured as well.
The end result is less clarity for those newbies... as big data becomes as well understood as cloud in the IT realm, these capabilities for newbies will increase.
User Rank: Blogger 12/24/2012 | 10:29:39 AM
Re: Me and my nay saying Hopefully organizations are getting better at determining which solutions are best for them, as well as implementing them.
Cloud is reaching maturity that big data will hit in a few years... part of that is not bringing in solutions in a knee jerk manner but weighing things up properly. That said, everyone will need to innovate or sink.
User Rank: Exabyte Executive 12/20/2012 | 8:17:35 PM
Re: Me and my nay saying There are still organizations analyzing the feasibility and relevance of cloud computing solutions in IT. With healthcare, they are running out of space for assets. It is predicted Global Big Data-As-A-Service will reach 68.93% over the period 2012-2016. Eventually organizations will require innovative business strategies and improve efficiency.
User Rank: Exabyte Executive 12/19/2012 | 9:39:42 PM
Re: Me and my nay saying @Saul -- Honestly, I don't think it will be possible for a long time to make tools easy enough to use that anyone could get data science insight. In my admitably limited experience, it seems to take a special kind of person or skillset to be able to tackle a great deal of data and be able to present it in a meaningful way.
I think it has to do with interest and drive. Just wanting the answers isn't good enough. I think making sense of data takes the curiosity of a real data scientist.
User Rank: Blogger 12/19/2012 | 3:06:32 PM
Re: Me and my nay saying It will be interesting to see the uptake on this as well Ariella... once there are some real SME success stories, I would imagine these platforms will be inundated (which will probably lead to yet another burst of start ups)
User Rank: Blogger 12/19/2012 | 3:05:31 PM
Re: Me and my nay saying Will these platforms ever make it easy enough that anyone could get on these tools and get data science insight? Or are we more likely to see a set of tools built for specific purposes, and a true data scientist will still be needed for the inspired insight?
User Rank: Exabyte Executive 12/19/2012 | 2:47:44 PM
Re: Me and my nay saying @Saul, I think it depends on how much of those skills you need. Ongoing, daily analysis and live feed analysis probably needs in house skill or a permanent consultant. Quick hits lend themselves to the service model.