Microsoft is BIG in Big Data
Last week I chaired our High Tech Executive Customer Advisory Board (CAB) made of a dozen of CIOs of the High Tech ecosystem and the focus was Big Data. The conversation was lead by one of our Big Data expert Shoshanna Budzianowski that triggered a lot of interested amongst the CAB members.
What if we could find insights of early detection of industry trends that would influence the timing of capital investments such as semiconductor factories? What if we could harness Supply Chain industry trends? What if we could extract best practice knowledge by mining the vast amount of support, design or manufacturing operation data? Are companies about to realize they are sitting on an gold mine of structured AND unstructured data?
What is Big Data?
There is a set of broad industry trends which are each putting pressure on traditional data management and business intelligence platforms and tools. These include:
The buzzword “Big Data” captures in a nutshell the trends, technologies and promise for businesses to generate real insights from Petabytes of structured and unstructured data. Simply put it’s about the 3Vs; Volume, Velocity and Variety of data.
What problems are customers trying to solve?
Organizations have always produced data that is unstructured and high-volume e.g. medical images, Web logs, RFID, sensor, locality, etc. Historically customers threw away most of the data they could collect to avoid data deluge. Spurred by plummeting storage and computation costs, coupled with the value resident in this data, customers are demanding new business insight from every bit of data they have access to in a cost effective and scalable way. Examples include
What is Microsoft’s experience with addressing these challenges?
Microsoft has been doing “Big Data” long before it became a mega-trend and brings over a decade of Big Data expertise to the market. Microsoft is in-fact one of the largest users of “Big Data” technologies. E.g. we use it at Bing to deliver you the best search results (over 100 PBs of data), we use it at Microsoft Advertising for Ad targeting (14 billion ads per month), we use it at XBOX Kinect for machine learning for facial and bodily gestures to tune Kinect’s response to you, we use it for Exchange Hosted Services for Spam detection (2-4 billion emails per day) and the list goes on.
What is Microsoft’s approach to Big Data?
Our approach focuses in four key areas:
Second, our goal is to make Hadoop enterprise ready. This means enabling data movement between Hadoop and SQL Server and delivering a distribution of Hadoop that can integrate with existing IT infrastructure on windows i.e. Systems Center, Active Directory etc. and provide enterprise capabilities like security, predictable performance with the option to deploy Hadoop in Hybrid IT scenarios on premises and in the cloud.
Third, we want to facilitate access to the world’s data through the combination of internal and external data and services. The Windows Azure Marketplace offers a Data Market service that provides with wide variety of data including demographic, environment, financial, retail and sports. Microsoft is pioneering other services such as Microsoft Codename "Social Analytics" that enables customers to improve profitability by integrating social media data with business applications. See new concepts/ideas on the SQL Labs website.
Fourth, our goal is to enable insights into ‘Big Data’ to all users wherever they are. By focusing on providing integration with our industry leading BI Platform including SQL Server Analysis and Reporting Services and SharePoint as well as enabling accessibility through award winning Self Service BI tools like PowerPivot for Excel and Power View on any device, we will make insights into Big Data also available to a broader class of end users as given in the illustration below.
For more information on Microsoft and Big Data, please use the resource link below:
Microsoft Business Intelligence site
Microsoft’s Big Data Roadmap & Approach
Big Data for Everyone: Using Microsoft’s Familiar BI Tools with Hadoop
Have a BIG fantastic day!