The Future of Big Data Is Here Today

A joint blog post from Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly and Informatica CEO Anil Chakravarthy

Enterprises today have enormous opportunities to harness big data to improve their competitiveness. In this new age of the Internet-of-Things (IoT), information and data in their organizations are coming from a multitude of different sources worldwide. Everything and everyone is connected to everything and everyone by a device and by data.

To meet this big data challenge, a new data management framework is needed – a comprehensive, hybrid approach to managing big data. To be comprehensive, this approach must encompass the three pillars required for big data management solutions: data integration, data governance and data quality, and data security.

Additionally, an effective big data management platform must be scalable, versatile, high-performance and flexible in order to be able to support many different data-driven business initiatives and imperatives. What a versatile and flexible data platform means to today’s enterprises is that it can run either on-premises or in the Cloud – because they are using both. It also must work for an array of data, ranging from the batch data they’re getting from their legacy mainframes all the way to the real-time data they’re getting from the Internet-of-things. It also must work with different kinds of applications, including operational applications and analytical applications. And it must work with all kinds of users, ranging from IT pros to non-technical business users.

Our Informatica/Cloudera partnership provides excellent examples of how a holistic and hybrid approach can help our customers deliver on the promise of end-to-end data management and advanced Cloud-based analytics for modern data architectures.

Big data and Apache Hadoop have transitioned very quickly from an initial stage of technology experimentation into mainstream, high-value business applications. Our Informatica/Cloudera joint customers are saving lives, they’re keeping supply chains and factories up and running, they’re servicing their customers better and selling them more and retaining them longer, they’re engaging in counter-terrorism and catching criminals – all real-world examples of applications our customers are getting immense value from today.

Western Union, for instance, is using our software to do some innovative things to counter the threat of money launderers attempting to use its services to move money illegally across borders. This is a good example of using an operational platform combined real-time analytics to instantly determine whether a money transfer transaction is fraudulent or not.

Transamerica, a giant insurance company, provides another excellent example of the business value – indeed, business imperative – of combining operations with analytics. This company used our big data platform for marketing analytics to determine where its marketing dollars were being effectively spent.

Its challenge was to analyze every U. S. household to determine which households were purchasing its products – and which were not – and to determine what kinds of marketing campaigns were effective. To gather and combine in one place all of the in-house and third-party data it needed and to effectively analyze this massive amount of data, Transamerica’s traditional data platform proved to be inadequate. So, a new approach was needed. As a result, Transamerica’s relied on the Cloudera analytics platform and Informatica’s data integration, master data management and data cleansing capabilities.

Insurance is an industry that can really benefit from integrating the Internet-of-things into its operational systems and combining big data management with analytics. Using analytics and big data management platforms, insurers are moving to a usage based model that is transforming how the insurance industry works. For example, auto insurers can now provide pay-as-you-drive offerings with premiums based on your driving habits. And homeowners insurance policy premium discounts can be based not just on whether you have an alarm systems but also whether you use that system.

Additionally, one of the most exciting big data technology-driven transformations of all is occurring today in the healthcare industry. Electronic medical record and healthcare management technology is creating major opportunities for our customers to transform healthcare. According to a national and international leader in health care, one in five Medicare patients will return in 30 days after they visit a hospital. These follow-up trips to the hospital are very expensive, needless to say, and often unnecessary. So, we’re working with this customer to enable their patients to be monitored remotely to make sure, for example, that they’re taking their drugs or getting their exercise – eliminating their need to come back to the hospital within 30 days. This remote monitoring capability based on the combination of our operational and analytical platforms has taken enormous costs out of the client’s healthcare system and is saving lives.
These are just a few of the many examples of the success of the Informatica/Cloudera partnership in delivering the bottom-line business benefits of big data management and analytics to our joint customers.

Going forward, our continuing commitment to our customers’ big data needs will be substantially strengthened and extended by the recent introduction of Informatica v10 and Big Data Management. These new releases represents a major step forward in delivering on our commitment to all things data by meeting the challenge of building a big data management platform for modern data architectures. Architects now can modernize their IT environment by leveraging top performance and improved data governance for modern data warehouses. They also can take advantage of the flexibility of full Cloud support via a data hub, as well as increased end-to-end data integration agility.

We’re entering an era where companies are no longer just keeping up with technology but are instead exploring ways to reshape their business processes to take advantage of big data. Every industry today is realizing that this Internet-connected world is providing them with the information they need to change and grow – to introduce new products or offer better service based on that information.

In the next two to three years, we’re going to see virtually every enterprise taking advantage of the data from the interconnected world.

The future of big data truly is here today.