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- What is Big Data
How is big data being used?
Most organisations will be using big data somewhere within the business. Or certainly claim they are using it, big data is one of the most discussed terms in IT right now. But are they using it effectively and for what purpose? Are many organisations seeing ROI on their big data yet?We highlight some interesting examples of big data in action, from football teams to helping cure malaria, and look what is required to get true value from big data.
Most organisations will be using big data somewhere within the business. Or certainly claim they are using it, big data is one of the most discussed terms in IT right now. But are they using it effectively and for what purpose? Are many organisations seeing ROI on their big data yet?
We highlight some interesting examples of big data in action, from football teams to helping cure malaria, and look what is required to get true value from big data.
Big data in sport
We speak every day with different organisations about their big data requirements and how they are deploying big data. They all have varying needs but there is one constant – using Hadoop and other systems to analyse and process big data takes serious computing power.
If you have that power though, then the potential of big data is vast. One particular example that caught our eye recently was that of German Bundesliga football club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. The club is using big data to improve player and team performance. Special sensors have been placed in players’ clothing and shinpads as well as the ball itself. This actionable data is collated and analysed and the coaching team uses the findings to develop new ways to improve the players’ game.
The data is used to personalise training to target the strengths and weaknesses of each individual player, reduce the risk of injury and ultimately improve performance levels of play. Whilst TSG 1899 Hoffenheim are only mid-table in the Bundesliga currently, such attention to detail and use of big data can only help the club in the long term.
Saving the world with big data
Hundreds of thousands of people die from Malaria each year and big data is being put to use to help prevent that. Harvard University’s Center for Communicable Disease has devised a plan of assigning specific mobile phone users to an ‘area’ based on the location their calls and SMS messages originated from. These areas can then be assessed and rated according to the level of malaria risk (based on report cases) and using modelling, researchers could accurately predict someone’s probability of becoming infected in each ‘area’.
This isn’t in real world use yet, but the potential of combing mobile phone data with disease data is enormous. If we know in advance how many cases of malaria there will be an area, then preparation for edidemics is much easier.Their system hasn’t yet been put in place by any local authority, but the potential for saving lives is readily apparent.
Big data ROI
Delivering ROI on big data in an IT environment is a slightly different case to improving football teams and helping prevent the spread of disease. But whatever the use, big data always demands performance and the virtual enviroment is simply not powerful enough.
Which is why we created our big data infrastructure, combining the power of bare metal with cloud flexibility. We achieved such power and performance by removing the hypervisor, which wastes the bare metal server power, enabling between 20 and 100 per cent more performance per resource than any virtual cloud. Customers can crunch their big data at high speeds, paying just pennies per hour.
Extracting value from big data is not easy but there are organisations that are beginning to see ROI. The potential is rich but one thing is beyond dispute – big data applications are power hungry and to get that value from big data you need high performance computing.