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January 4, 2014 | Bob Wilkinson

Predictions for 2014

By Bob Wilkinson & Jim Tommaney

In 2014 we anticipate a big year for InfiniDB. There are a combination of internal changes and external market shifts that point to 2014 being monumental for InfiniDB.

First, with platforms like InfiniDB for Apache™ Hadoop we are seeing a faster path from trial, to adoption, to deployment. Some of this we attribute to the spirit and culture of open source and our change to GPL v2 licensing. Externally the consumerization of IT contributes to the willingness of organizations to try software, and then quickly purchase and deploy new technology once they see the benefits. But moving into 2014, there are five broad market changes afoot that we see as predictions for 2014.

1. Continual Reshaping of the Big Data Landscape

All around we hear about the Big Data. Market growth rates are estimated to range from predictions of 11.16% CAGR for the Data Warehouse market to a 58% CAGR for the The Hadoop-MapReduce market. Regardless of growth rates, there are changes in a number of new vendors coming in and companies going out of business, merging and being acquired. We predict that 40% of the vendors in the Big Data landscape will not exist 12-18 months from now.

One particular area that is ripe for a shakeup is in the data visualization space. There are now so many open source, free, and embedded apps for this purpose. But even the most powerful proprietary licensed solutions have a limited group of power users and data scientist that can use the visualization tools for Big Data. Data visualization helps “the dumbing down of big data” and makes for neat demos, but this is going to be a component of a decision infrastructure. Expect these to get bundled into larger analytic decision applications where these are more of a report snapshot.

2. SQL Gets Sexy Again

After several years of hype around NoSQL and unstructured data, the industry realizes that most data has structure and that SQL is the best way we know how to deal with it. Facebook, a company known for its use of terabytes of unstructured data, echoed its support of SQL structured data during keynote at the Strata + Hadoop World conference in New York. Facebook Analytics Chief, Ken Rudin, commented, “There are a lot of commonly held beliefs about big data that need to be challenged. The problem is that Hadoop is a technology, and big data isn't about technology. Big data is about business needs. In reality, big data should include Hadoop and relational [databases] and any other technology that is suitable for the task at hand."

As Rudin explained some of the details of how Facebook stores data he added, “We keep the low-level, most granular, detailed data in Hadoop at Facebook, but move the transformed and aggregated data into relational databases because slicing and dicing is faster and easier."

3. SQL on Hadoop Sees Rapid Adoption

The first step of earlier adopters has been to use Hive as leverage the structure of SQL on Hadoop. But going into 2014, Hive will continue its downward trend and fall by the wayside as people get over the novelty of running SQL on Hadoop. Organizations are now demanding solutions that meet the business realities of timeliness and efficiency for reporting and analytics. One of the analogies that we recently heard about Hive was, “Hive is like the death star…Really big and powerful but takes too long to fire…” Contrast that with InfiniDB: All about speed, performance, agility and always firing.

To both meet the needs and capitalize on the “hype opportunity” we will see more players clamoring to make a name in this space.

4. Rise and Support for More Open Source BI Vendors

There is going to be a growth of community support for more open source BI vendors to plug what is a large hole in the Hadoop data platform story. Hadoop has been more of a batch environment for large volumes of data and not ready for real-time BI. Expect more BI for Hadoop support and major announcements from the Hadoop platform players. InfiniDB for Apache Hadoop is a Big Data analytic platform that is ready now for organizations that want to query Hadoop data with their BI tools.

5. Big Data Technologies Crystalize Around Workflows

Big Data technologies will crystalize around workflows where the value is tied to specific use cases. This is going to be “low hanging fruit” that organizations can really get measurable ROI from. Capturing and storing Big Data is relatively easy; but having areas to put that data to use has been a challenge for organizations. Even while the spirit of sharing data permeates companies, the practical purpose and use of data largely remains siloed. Moreover, a cultural shift still needs to take place inside the majority of companies towards evidence-based decision making. Until large scale internal cultural shifts take place, there is the opportunity for companies to “force” evidence-based decision making by creating Big Data analytics around workflows to solve specific business problems. Organizations that embed workflows and business rules into analytic decision management will realize the value of Big Data technologies. We see InfiniDB customers that do this successfully are able to spawn new analytic initiatives across other business areas and break down silos.

Excitement in 2014

That’s what we see going into 2014. Do you have your own prediction? Let us know about it by contacting us @InfiniDB.

We hope that your 2014 is filled with success in your Big Data analytics initiatives, plans and projects. We look forward to connecting with each and every one of you as this exciting year unfolds.