In response to my last post—Marketers ask: Why do we need Hadoop if we’re not doing big data?—a Twitter follower asked this question:
It’s a fair question. Typically, marketers are more interested in the car (in this case, big data) than they are in the engine (Hadoop). But Hadoop is not just another faster, more cost-effective engine option. It’s a game changer in the world of data management—much like the Prius and Tesla have been in the world of gas-guzzling cars, trucks, and SUVs.
Do marketers need to understand how Hadoop works? Not at all. But what should interest them is if and how this popular big data technology can help them gain better and more informed insights about their customers. If (big) data can indeed help take the customer experience from a 3-star to a 5-star experience, then isn’t it worth understanding what all the Hadoopla is about?
This dovetails nicely into our 3rd question in this 5-part series. My answer will be short—and it may surprise you.
Question 3: Is Hadoop enterprise-ready?
I have two answers to this question:
- For your organization: Maybe.
- For all organizations: No.
It all depends on what and why you want to use Hadoop in your organization. If you simply want to use it as an additional (or alternative) storage repository and/or as a short-term data processor, then by all means, Apache Hadoop is ready for you. (My last post discusses six ways Apache Hadoop can be used.)
However, if you want to go beyond data storage and processing, and you’re looking for some of the same data management and analysis capabilities you currently have with your existing data ecosystem, Apache Hadoop alone is not going to cut it.
As I mentioned in my first post, you will need to get technical assistance—from IT and developers, internal and external—to explore the vast ecosystem of Hadoop-related open source and proprietary projects and products to achieve your objectives. This will not be a small undertaking. Remember, you don’t want to “do Hadoop” just because everyone else is doing it or because it looks good on paper or it’s cheap for IT to install. You want to do Hadoop if it helps address or solve real business issues your organization is facing. Start with your requirements list first before you start looking at Hadoop.
One final point to consider is that many of these newer Hadoop-related technologies are still maturing—quite rapidly, I might add. They don’t have the decades of R&D behind them like our existing relational systems. That’s not a strike against Hadoop; it’s just the reality of where we are today. That’s why I say Hadoop—as in the Hadoop ecosystem—isn’t 100% ready for the enterprise. Yet.
This is the 3rd post in a 5-part series, "Big Data Cheat Sheet on Hadoop." This spin-off series for marketers was inspired by a popular big data presentation I delivered to executives and senior management at a recent SAS Global Forum Executive Conference.
If you did not read the previous posts in this series, I encourage you to read those as well. Tamara's goal with this series is to enable you to have an informed view of how this area of technology can support your strategy. Armed with these perspectives, hopefully you can partner even more closely with I.T. and operations to deliver the best possible customer experience.
As Tamara puts it, Hadoop is here to stay and it’s ready to “play” with your enterprise data warehouse. Download her Non-Geek’s Big Data Playbook to figure out which use cases make sense for your organization. She wrote the playbook for the technologically-savvy business professional who prefers pictures to words, simplicity to complexity, and briefer explanations to longer ones.Once you're comfortable with Hadoop and want to delve deeper into analytically-driven marketing solutions, start with our Customer Intelligence home page at: www.sas.com/customerjourney. And as always, thank you for following!