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December 15, 2011 | justred

Big Data in the New Web Economy

Jeff Vogel, President and CEO, Calpont

Having spent my entire career in the IT, storage and database industries, I've developed a unique view into how companies can gain a competitive advantage through the use data as both a service and as an asset. What I find most exciting is the convergence of data and the ‘new economy’ business model -- that is, companies that are combining emerging data management technologies and the Internet to enable new business models that replace or rival old ones. So goes the march of technology, accelerated by Internet time.

There’s a new buzz phrase that’s driving a wave of new investment that has the potential to radically alter the business of IT as we know it today – Big Data – suggesting a technological tidal wave of data that’s going to wash over IT. But what does Big Data really mean and what are the implications for database vendors and businesses built on data?

Let's first define what I mean by the term 'new economy' and the macro trends fueling this phenomenon. At the macro level, there’s a triad of digital marketing applications – Advertising, Digital Media and Marketing – driving a trillion dollar online economy. Smartphones, mobile computing and an all IP telecommunications networks are converging to turbo-charge businesses, enabling them to have a one-to-one relationship with the Internet savvy consumer. The digital footprint of billions of people accessing and downloading content from the Internet, along with billions of devices connected to the Internet, is growing unfathomable data.

From a business perspective, putting all of that data to work as an asset is the new economic imperative of every business. The implications are staggering, on every level. Combined with the rapid emergence of next generation of Internet applications, it fundamentally changes ‘what and how’ businesses deliver value, whether it’s a service or a product. Mature or start-up, these businesses are New Economy Players. Examples in gaming, social-networking, search, advertising and media are everywhere. Calpont customers such as Warner Music, CaringBridge, Mate1, JiWire, and EyeWonder leverage the extraordinary power of data to change the game.

The timely analysis of Big Data, and the resulting decision outcomes from it, provides enormous competitive advantages in delivering new revenue streams, big costs savings, improved services and enhanced customer experiences. Where there is data, there is an opportunity to gain a critical business advantage through analytics.

When we designed InfiniDB, our vision was a purpose-built analytics database for Web commerce that addresses the data infrastructure challenges that these new economy players face. We invented a new software-only database architecture guided by three fundamental concepts: Fast, Scalable, Simple with disruptive economics and flexible licensing to match. In short, it had to be easy to use and scale with massive data while executing analytics with leading edge performance, at a fraction of the cost of legacy databases, custom developed data environments, and alternative data technologies. For us, we envisioned InfiniDB at the heart of the New Economy.