Focus On: Analytics in the Cloud

by   |   January 20, 2014 5:50 am   |   0 Comments

The growth of cloud computing has broad implications for the world of analytics. As more companies look to cut IT costs by offloading system management expenses to third-parties—Gartner projects that close to half of large enterprises will deploy hybrid cloud environments by 2017—the migration creates a need for IT to monitor the progress and performance of the systems and applications.

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That means, according to Gartner analyst Thomas Bittman, taking the step to cloud computing also involves adding capabilities that require spending on new technologies to measure performance, manage self-service applications and automated provisioning of systems.

The caution is a reminder that major shifts in IT operations, especially at large firms, are not fast or easy. At the same time, the pace and range of activity in the field of cloud-based systems that offer analytics continues apace, with a range of players from established tech titans to newcomers from the world of Hadoop and other fields finding opportunities for new use cases.

Below, find highlights from Data Informed’s coverage of cloud-based systems and analytics, including technology trends, use cases and security issues.


Five Things to Know About IBM Watson, Where It Is and Where It’s Going  

IBM’s new Watson Group launched to develop and commercialize cloud-based cognitive computing systems plans to invest $1 billion, including $100 million in venture money to cultivate an ecosystem of cloud-based applications developed by third parties. Here are five things to know about Watson at this important point in its history.  Read more.

The Evolution of the Enterprise Data Warehouse, Starring Hadoop

By embracing a new, more flexible and more modular architecture for data warehousing that includes Hadoop, major vendors like IBM, Oracle and Teradata are moving into a market that has been populated by startups and open source initiatives. The vendors bring credibility to Hadoop by trading on their trusted names in enterprise business settings.  Read more.

Data Warehousing Wafts Further into the Cloud

The “cloud” once meant servers and hard drives at someone else’s data center. But more and more cloud-based services are being designed to match the applications enterprises have long done in house—and data warehousing has joined that list.  Read more.

Related: 1010data Offers Data Warehouse-as-a-Service for Analytics  

Podcast: What Hadoop Version 2 Means for Business

Shaun Connolly, vice president of corporate strategy at Hortonworks, talks about the development of Hadoop and what it means for enterprises using it, or considering using it for data-intensive projects. Read more and listen.

Podcast: Hadoop Use Cases Grow with Added Security for Open Source System

On this episode of the Data Informed podcast, Jack Norris, the chief marketing officer of MapR Technologies, discusses Hadoop security and the kinds of use cases that open up when it is improved. Read more and listen.

Related: MapR Bets on IaaS with Amazon and Google for Hadoop

Related: Nimbula and MapR Join to Offer Hadoop for Private Clouds

Innovative Relational Databases Create New Analytics Opportunities for SQL Programmers

Competing with Hadoop and NoSQL, these new databases, such as NuoDB, Splice Machine, VoltDB, Cloudera’s Impala and Hadapt, are focused on scalability and predictability, with the ability to perform with distributed data in the cloud or on-premise. Read more.

Google Starts Building Cloud Partner Ecosystem

In August 2012, Google took a step towards challenging other infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers like Amazon Web Services and Rackspace by bolstering its cloud ecosystem, announcing 47 technical and service partners.  Read more.

Kognitio Brings In-Memory Analytics to Hadoop and the Cloud  

In-memory databases are not a new technology, but with data sets getting bigger and businesses looking for insights faster, real-time data analytics has reached a new level of interest. And executives at Kognitio, which has been in the in-memory field since 1989, feel the market has come around to their way of thinking. Read more.

Podcast: Birst on Designing Data Visualization Tools Business People Can Use  

How much should a business user know about Excel pivot tables in particular, or databases in general? Not much, according to Southard Jones, the vice president of product strategy at cloud-based business intelligence company Birst. Read and hear more.

Related video: Birst Seeks to Make Analytics Accessible to Business Managers

Traditional ETL Player Syncsort Retools for Hadoop, Big Data Analytics  

Syncsort, founded in 1968 to help mainframe systems administrators sort data for transactions processing, has found new life at the center of ETL processes that enterprises with legacy systems require to adopt Hadoop and big data analytics systems—including cloud-based systems. Read more.

Vint Cerf Envisions Interoperable Clouds Driving Collaborative Computing, Analytics  

Vint Cerf, celebrated “father of the Internet” now working at Google as vice president and chief Internet evangelist, sees parallels between pre-Internet networking and the state of cloud computing today. Cerf spoke at a National Institute of Standards and Technology event. Read more.

Standards Needed to Fulfill Vision for Big Data Researchers

Scientific research already uses very big data sets, but the field needs to develop a framework and standards to take major inquiries to new heights of collaboration and discovery, according to researchers convening at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Read more.

Related: Research as a Service: Microsoft, Google, Amazon Discuss Supporting Government Scientists via Cloud Computing  


Cloud Analytics Unlock Commercial Buildings’ Energy Efficiency  

Commercial buildings have long been able to provide information on what makes them tick, but it was often ignored. Now software companies are applying analytics to building data to improve efficiency and head off potential maintenance problems. It’s another example of the value data analytics can play in the growing universe of connected devices.  Read more.

Advice for Deploying HR Analytics Tools in the Cloud

More than simply a trend, cloud computing is helping to transform human resources and the applications it supports. This article shares tips for HR managers evaluating cloud-based services. Read more.

Using a SaaS Application and Open Source BI to Track Oil Production in the North Sea

An embedded open-source business intelligence capability from Jaspersoft, which is built into EnergySys, a specialist production reporting and allocation application, is an example of a cloud-based application that is critical to commercial exploitation of the largest North Sea oil field. Read more.

Trintech Offers Cloud-Based Analytics for Financial Reporting Process

A financial software company called Trintech, established in 1989 by former finance executives, seeks to address the complexity of financial reporting faced by CFOs  through its cloud-based offering called Cadency. Read more.

APM Adoption Grows As Analytics Applied to End-User Experiences Gain Traction

Application Performance Management (APM) isn’t a brand new acronym – but it is one that is getting more visibility. Its focus is on monitoring and managing the performance and availability of software applications, which are seen as increasingly critical to overall business performance. APM also can apply to applications running in the cloud. Read more.

Opinion: How Crowdsourcing Fraud Detection Can Help Reduce Tax Cheats

Business process crowdsourcing, an alternative to outsourcing that leverages skilled professionals working virtually in a “private crowd,” is a method for detecting fraud that could help the IRS catch tax cheats and save the government money, argues Don Mackenzie of Lionbridge Technologies. Read more.

Full Contact Implements Hadoop in the Cloud

Address book application developer Full Contact users MapR’s distribution on Amazon Web Services cloud environment. The CTO describes his experience using the platform. Read more.

Opinion: Optimize Your Big Data to Create Opportunities for Advanced Analytics

Today’s progressive business leaders are demanding their companies integrate their existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems with external sources, such as social media and machine sensor data, all while tapping into cloud computing systems to deliver actionable insights quickly and in a cost-effective manner, write Scott H. Schlesinger and Dorman Bazzell of Capgemini.  Read more.

SAP’s TwoGo App Combines Data, Design to Address Carpool Challenge

SAP has come up with a new, cloud-based workforce application that seeks to address all the challenges facing carpool organizers through a mix of data analysis, mapping and application design that, combined with the right employer policies, has the potential to make an impact, experts say. Read more.

2012 AWS Outage Shows Cloud Services Still Maturing

Amazon Web Services is a leader in providing cloud infrastructure as a service, so when its system went down in Northern Virginia during a major electrical storm in June 2012 and took high profile clients like Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest with it as it did, people sat up and took notice. Read more.

Cutting-Edge Medical Researchers Say Their Projects Break Big Data Ceiling

Researchers in neuroscience and genomics, who work with immense datasets, say they need to manage issues familiar to enterprise IT and business executives: changing the culture to accept data sharing, using visualizations as tool to aid communication and further discovery, and planning for future cloud adoption.  Read more.


Cloud Computing Experts Detail Big Data Security and Privacy

The information security practitioners at the Cloud Security Alliance know that big data and analytics systems are here to stay. They also agree on the big questions that come next: How can we make the systems that store and compute the data secure? And, how can we ensure private data stays private as it moves through different stages of analysis, input and output? It’s the answers to those questions that prompted the group’s latest report detailing 10 major security and privacy challenges facing infrastructure providers and customers. Read more.

Related: Cloud Security Alliance Lists 10 Big Data Security Challenges

Related: As Cloud Computing Grows, Security Experts Cite Data Risks to Manage

A Starting Guide to Data Security in the Cloud

Shifting applications and infrastructure to the cloud does not mean an organization abdicates responsibility for the security and integrity of its data. Experts in the field, from vendors and consultants to large companies implementing clouds, have developed checklists to help you evaluate cloud strategies and cloud services providers. Read more.

Cloud-Based Data Integration Adds Concerns about Latency and Security

As cloud-based systems win attention from management, it becomes unnecessary to manage all that infrastructure, and management can quickly scale up (and down) volumes if needed, writes April Reeve in this excerpt from her book “Managing Data in Motion.” Read more.

Home page image of clouds by Michael Jastremski via Wikipedia. Used under Creative Commons license.

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