Chris J Powell

How Big Data is Changing Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence has been around for a while with projects ranging from the mundane (reports and dashboards) to the complex and wildly innovative (SharePoint Enabled personalized  function) but in the world of Big Data and the many new sources of content…what is really happening to the world of BI?

We here a great deal about the onslaught of the Perfect Storm that is making landfall for technology at every conceivable point.  With topics like Cloud Computing, Mobility, Security, Social Media and Big Data filling everyone’s inbox with product demos and “see what we can do” messages, it is getting harder and harder to see the forest for the trees.

One trend that is gaining traction around the globe is the integration of many of these technologies that have collided to make it that much tougher for IT Professionals to wade through all of the information and find the truth.  When we look behind the curtain of Business Intelligence we do see a convergence of many of these technologies all in one.  More and more, the need for real time Data Analysis is happening on a mobile device which may require the use of Cloud Computing (either Private, Public or Hybrid Hosted) which increases the need for Security and the convergence of a Big Data Source with effective use of Social Media Analytics.

The challenge for IT Professionals is that getting good and more effective with any of these concepts can prove to become a full time job and with constrained budgets and a general lack of expertise…combining all these challenges into one mega challenge is that much harder!

When I was building my Hadoop setup at home to classify and scan more than 1TB of PDFs for insights and connections I had really wanted to be able to set that up to be available from my mobile device at the same time.  Because I chose to go fully open source with my setup I did not have the option of leveraging the advanced support options of a Pentaho or or Jaspersoft when it came to setting up the connection on my iPad and Android Smart Phone but I knew from the outset that I wanted to have an always connected and persistent option to be able to find, sort and connect all of the information that 13 years of Broadband Internet Access has provided me.

My solution was to actually setup the functionality within an HTML5 Application.  It is still very, very young and does not do all that I want it to do but the entire project has cost me nothing (well not quite, the 3TB Drive and enclosure cost me $149) but to be able to simply run queries and build insights from the written word of more than 75,000 PDF books, White Papers and other documents to assist me has been a great learning experience.

I am in no way ready to reveal any screen shots yet (function over form at this point) but I must say that I am very happy with its ability so far and because of the use of interactive Web Technology…I am able to access this from anywhere that a Browser Window “phone home”.


Chris J Powell

2 thoughts on “How Big Data is Changing Business Intelligence”

    • Thanks Davin. The Hadoop set up went live in November but I have been plugging away at making the information available through a private Website interface. Like I said, it is not pretty but I can instantly make connections and find information that interconnects.

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