24 Jun 2014
Big data is making an impact in nearly every industry across the globe. It’s fundamentally changing the way companies do business and how consumers find and buy products and services.
With the large amount of change that is occurring so rapidly in the big data industry, companies are feeling the pressure to act quickly to stay ahead of the competition. The sooner companies can begin implementing big data, the better, but only if the company is ready. Big data should propel companies forward, not hold them back. A focus for companies as they begin exploring big data implementation is establishing a successful infrastructure. After all, the infrastructure is where everything begins with big data. If it’s implemented correctly, a premier infrastructure will ensure that big data serves its primary purpose — increasing business success and consumer satisfaction.
Here are four things companies can do to establish a successful infrastructure.
1. Establish a Purpose
Why do you want to use big data and what are you going to use it for? In order for a company to establish the right kind of infrastructure it needs to know how much and what kind of data it’s going to be handling, along with how that data is going to help the company succeed. From a workforce standpoint, companies need to understand the staffing needs that come with any type of big data infrastructure and make sure they have they manpower to meet those needs. Last, the business needs to understand the financial implications of establishing a successful infrastructure. There will need to be a significant investment of money if it’s going to succeed. However, that investment will pay great dividends in the future, whereas if companies take shortcuts to reduce expenditures, they will pay significantly more in the future. It will hinder their ability to innovate now and in the future.
2. Secure the Data
Securing data is the most important thing a company can do. An enormous advantage for companies with their own infrastructure is the inherent data security that comes with it. Unlike big data in the cloud, companies control all aspects of data. However, companies still have work to do, and if the company lacks expertise in this area, a big data platform in the cloud can actually be the more secure route. When evaluating a cloud computing provider, it’s important to establish and understand who can access the data, when they can access it and what happens with the data when it’s accessed. Appropriate and simple measures will ensure your data remains safe.
3. Make it Scalable
Your company is going to evolve, so make sure your infrastructure can handle change. In their recently published eBook, “Running a Big Data Infrastructure: Five Areas That Need Your Attention,” this ability to change is called, “Elasticity.” Your infrastructure has to be flexible enough to move through the ebbs and flows of your business — the good times and the bad. This type of flexibility doesn’t necessarily require more and more servers to handle the excess information. It requires great “elasticity” with the existing technology allowing it to effectively handle more or less data than originally intended.
4. Monitor the data
The ebook also points out the importance of constant monitoring. If your company is going to install big data infrastructure, then it signifies that big data will play a big part in the future of your business. Because of that, it’s important that your infrastructure is up to speed, all the time. Delays of any sort in the infrastructure can prove extremely costly to your business. As with any new technology, there are going to be glitches and bugs in the system. Without consistent, constant monitoring those could cause an enormous impact on your company. With monitoring, however, they become small inconveniences instead of big problems.
Implementing big data infrastructure can be one of the best moves for your business if it’s done correctly. It allows companies to access and analyze troves of information that can improve every aspect of a company. Companies will succeed by understanding why they want to implement big data, how it’s going to be used and then focus on making it secure, flexible and monitored.