Welcome!

@DXWorldExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: @DXWorldExpo, @CloudExpo

@DXWorldExpo: Blog Post

Sailing the Great Big Data Lakes | @CloudExpo [#BigData #IoT]

Big Data without analytics is just taking up storage space

In my younger days (we won't discuss how long ago that was) I decided to take up sailing. I had always been fascinated watching sailboats, gliding smoothly along the water, with nothing but wind as their engine. My first lesson on the water was an exhilarating and eye opening experience. The instructor took me out on a 17-foot day sailer. It was a brisk New England April afternoon, what seemed like a perfect day to be sailing. The instructor explained the different techniques and maneuvers required to traverse the lake, which I executed, though somewhat nervously. We were moving at what felt like breakneck speeds, constantly shifting and changing the position of the boat, adjusting the sail to the changing wind directions, while still heading in the desired direction. Suddenly, a gust of wind came from a completely unexpected direction. Before I fully realized what had happened, I found myself treading water, looking back at the day sailer, which was completely turtled (a term I learned that day) upside down in the water. My instructor, amazingly, was standing on top of the upside down boat, completely dry.

Today in technology, we are trying to sail great lakes of data. It is estimated that we are creating 2.5 quintillion bytes (a billion gigabytes) of data daily. That number is going to continue to grow with the explosion of the Internet of Things. CIOs are struggling with helping the business to sail and navigate these lakes, leveraging the power they present, providing value back to the business. What steps can the CIO take to avoid ending up treading water in those lakes? What can be done to be like my sailing instructor, who remained dry and safe on top of the boat?

Big Data without analytics is just taking up storage space
With all the hype around the concept of ‘Big Data' and the sheer volume of information being created on a daily basis, many organizations are engaging in ‘data hoarding.' These organizations are capturing and storing every little piece of data available to them. The assumption is that the data will provide some intrinsic value just by having it. Data without an understanding of the meaning is just occupying space. This understanding is more than just knowing the business, though that knowledge is required. Properly analyzing these huge volumes requires deep technical skills in computer science, communication, and statistics. Without leveraging these skillsets, businesses run the risk of introducing false correlations from the analysis. (For some entertaining examples of false correlations, check out www.tylervigen.com.)

False correlations can have negative business impact; decisions being made based on incorrect assumptions can lead to potentially costly errors. To avoid treading in those dangerous waters, the CIO should ensure they are providing the appropriate resources for both the storage and analysis of these great data lakes. Working closely with the business, providing those resources, explaining the risks and benefits involved will be a big step toward staying dry. It's not the only step nor the only area at risk.

Security, privacy, archiving - not all data is created equal
In the world of data, there has always been the challenge to balance the needs of the business and user convenience, while also addressing privacy, security and regulatory concerns. Everything is a tradeoff; there is no perfect way of striking that balance. We are now in a new world, where we are creating great Big Data lakes of information, and we are developing new uses for this data at breakneck speeds. Frequently, this is done before there is a solid understanding of the implications and tradeoffs involved. A breach or compliance violation can be like that gust of wind that turtled my sailboat, catching the CIO and the organization unaware, leaving them, like me, treading water in the great Big Data lake.

The CIO has a responsibility to help the business understand the tradeoffs and risks involved in this rapidly changing environment. Not all data is created equal. Personal information is very different from statistics obtained from the census bureau. There is no one-size-fits-all for dealing with privacy issues, security issues, or compliance. Some of the data is sourced internally, some sourced from external systems, including possibly social media systems. What responsibility does the organization have for privacy around externally sourced data? If it passes through your system, resides in your system, regardless of original source, you have a responsibility to handle the data appropriately. Policies and procedures need to be defined and executed.

Depending on the industry, there are various regulatory and compliance rules around the retention and archiving of data. Even with the constant influx of new data, the CIO and their organization are responsible for ensuring compliance. That is a fairly straightforward process, usually well understood by the organization. Another consideration often overlooked is leveraging archiving rules around data retention help deal with privacy and security concerns. Once data has been analyzed and rolled up, consider if the raw data is still required. Archiving or rolling raw data off systems when no longer required can help deal with privacy and security concerns around transitory data sourced from other systems. Data can't be compromised if it's no longer in the system. This can be a difficult sell to the business, as there is a tendency to hoard data; it's human nature. It's the classic ‘I might need it again.' As already mentioned, everything is a tradeoff. A well-defined archiving strategy can help strike the appropriate balance.

Smooth sailing across the data lakes requires good planning and design
After we returned to shore from my first disastrous attempt at sailing, I asked the instructor how he managed to be on top of the boat completely dry. He explained that all the instructors go through training and planning for just such scenarios. They would actually force the boats to turtle, and practice climbing over the boat in the opposite direction as it flipped. He also told me he knew the flip would be coming. Looking across the lake, he saw ripples in the water that signaled a coming change in wind direction, allowing him time to react quickly to the anticipated shift.

No technology negates the need for good planning and design. It's not just about storing structured and unstructured data. It's not just providing the latest and greatest analytic tools. For CIOs to successfully sail the great Big Data lakes, they too must plan and design how to leverage and balance the data and its analysis. They must provide the appropriate resources working with the business to ensure there is a correct understanding of the data that is available. Those that succeed will be like my instructor, standing triumphantly on top of the boat. Those that do not will be like I was, soaking wet, treading water, and wondering what had happened.

This post is sponsored by KPMG LLP and The CIO Agenda.

KPMG LLP is a Delaware limited liability partnership and is the U.S. member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. The KPMG name, logo and "cutting through complexity" are registered trademarks or trademarks of KPMG International. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of KPMG LLP.

More Stories By Ed Featherston

Ed Featherston is VP, Principal Architect at Cloud Technology Partners. He brings 35 years of technology experience in designing, building, and implementing large complex solutions. He has significant expertise in systems integration, Internet/intranet, and cloud technologies. He has delivered projects in various industries, including financial services, pharmacy, government and retail.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@BigDataExpo Stories
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices t...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps promotes continuous improvement through a culture of collaboration. But in real terms, how do you: Integrate activities across diverse teams and services? Make objective decisions with system-wide visibility? Use feedback loops to enable learning and improvement? With technology insights and real-world examples, in his general session at @DevOpsSummit, at 21st Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, explored how leading organizations use data-driven DevOps to clos...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone in...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, discussed the b...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits,...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait...