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Informatica 9.5 for Big Data Challenge #3: Mobile

The world has gone mobile. Among consumers, the younger generation has grown up connecting via mobile devices rather than computers. In some developing countries, entire societies have skipped over computers directly to their smartphones to connect and interact. More and more enterprises are providing their workforce with mobile devices, or enabling “bring your own device”.

And mobile devices are just a tip of the machine-generated data iceberg. We are experiencing geometric growth in data being generated by machines and devices, ranging from mobile phones and tablets to smart meters to RFID tags to equipment sensors. There are billions of machines creating deluges of real-time data. And most traditional IT systems are simply not equipped to handle this type of big data.

At a basic level, IT systems must simply be able to capture and process volumes of data that are several orders of magnitude larger than originally designed for. At a more advanced level, mobile computing in particular provides the opportunity for much greater awareness of a user’s context, but it can be difficult to tap into that knowledge to drive more sophisticated business practices.

Informatica 9.5 harnesses the power of all this mobile and machine data in several ways. Informatica 9.5’s data streaming capability enables organizations to efficiently and non-invasively capture and distribute vast volumes of real-time streaming data, getting it to the applications and systems that need it. Also, the data from these devices and machines is typically in complex binary or hierarchical formats. Informatica’s HParser and data transformation capabilities convert this ugly data into well-behaved relational formats so that existing enterprise applications can handle them. This includes capturing contextual information that may be provided by a mobile device, such as location or user activity on the device itself, to enable deeper engagement with the mobile user.

Finally, traditional data processing platforms are easily overwhelmed by the volumes inherent in mobile and device data. There are two aspects of tackling this problem. First, not all the data is necessarily useful. In fact, a large portion is probably worthless. But it can be very difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Informatica’s complex event processing (CEP) can monitor streaming data in real time, and sift out events, activities or patterns of interest, triggering alerts or actions on those, while ignoring the non-relevant data. In particular, it can be used to detect relevant contextual data, such as a mobile device location, to trigger a specific response that is appropriate for that context (e.g. sending a notification about an in-store event to customers who are nearby).

Second, when enterprises do need to process most or all this data, they are turning to emerging big data processing platforms such as Hadoop in order to cost-effectively tackle the problem. The native Hadoop processing capabilities in Informatica 9.5 and 9.5.1 (coming later this year) will be critical to making Hadoop enterprise-grade, so that organizations can fully utilize the value of mobile and machine data.

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