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GCN : February 2014
67 and its data is essential. "Often, different departments within an organization own the identifiers and use them to classify users and transactions in different ways. It's extremely important to know what data you have, who owns it and how it is being used," he explains. Curtis recommends holding one "golden copy" of major data sets and establishing a clear set of definitions about data ownership, how it can be used and who can update definitions. "By getting control at the governance level it's possible to build a foundation and infrastructure for Big Data," he explains. " e framework exists for taking analytics to the next level and achieving real-world results." Tools of the Trade e ultimate goal is to put Big Data to work in new and innovative ways. Viswanathan says that an initiative typically involves a mélange of systems and solutions, including data warehousing, data integration tools, business intelligence software, data visualization tools, business analytics and predictive modeling systems. "Big Data is an overarching approach rather than a specific application or system," he says. A growing number of vendors offer hardware and software solutions designed for Big Data. IBM, for example, offers a number of analytics and predictive analytics tools that slice through data and provide deep insights. ese include its SPSS Modeler, SPSS Statistics and SPSS Decision Management Apps; IBM's Cognos Enterprise software and its InfoSphere Warehouse, InfoSphere Streams and InfoSphere Velocity software. In addition, IBM InfoSphere BigInsights software brings the power of open source Apache Hadoop to the organization. It ties together structured and unstructured data in a large-scale analytics package. Meanwhile, Oracle has embraced Big Data through a number of hardware and software offerings. Its Big Data Appliance provides a total approach to information management through Apache Hadoop, Cloudera Manager, and open source distribution of R --- all running on Oracle Linux. It provides rapid provisioning and high performance in an integrated package. In addition, Oracle offers other Big Data offerings, including Oracle Big Data Connectors, which is optimized to integrate data stored in Hadoop or Oracle NoSQL Databases with Oracle Database 11g. In fact, open source technologies such as NoSQL, Hadoop and MapReduce are redefining the Big Data space. Each of these three technologies offers powerful ways to store and manage Big Data. Hadoop, for example, provides a software framework that's specifically designed to address large-scale distributed data storage, analysis and retrieval tasks. It is built to scale up from single servers to thousands of machines, each offering local computation and storage. Hadoop is now widely used by organizations looking to FOLLOW US CDWG.com | 800.808.4239 Big Data analytics often begins with a pilot project. Let CDW•G assist with an assessment or planning and design session. Our solution architects review your needs and perform an evaluation of your existing environment to develop a comprehensive solution to meet individual project objectives. ASSESSMENT, PLANNING AND DESIGN SERVICES For more information, download our "Planning for Big Data" white paper at CDWG.com/planbigdata manage processing power for complex Big Data tasks. e final piece of the Big Data puzzle, CapGemini reports, is devoting adequate IT resources to the task. It noted that finding the right skills is a growing challenge. Just over half (51 percent) of the respondents to its survey reported a lack of talent to build systems and design modeling methods that produce meaningful results. Consequently, a growing number of organizations are collaborating with universities and professional trade organizations to develop and attract talent. What's more, best-practice companies, McKinsey notes, devote resources to educating and training managers about how to use Big Data. To be sure, Big Data beckons with the opportunity to produce big results. In the end, it offers the potential to transform decision-making from a question or hypothesis to a multidimensional process that provides deep insights into patterns and trends. is, in turn, drives innovation and creates new opportunities. Concludes Viswanathan: "Organizations that use Big Data effectively are able to create a clear competitive advantage. ey're able to understand issues and trends in a way that wouldn't have been imaginable only a few years ago."