UPDATED 12:07 EDT / AUGUST 14 2014

Adapting to the new Big Data world of practicality & data integration | #HPBigData2014

evolution sign change adaptabilityThe Big Data marketplace is fraught with new challenges as it accelerates into the enterprise, with platforms like Hewlett-Packard, Co.’s Vertica being applied to business for practical reasons, according to Lawrence Schwartz. The VP of marketing at Attunity Ltd. characterized these challenges as an opportunity as his company helps businesses transition Big Data applications from hype to reality, finding the biggest opportunities in the marketing industry. John Furrier and Jeff Kelly invited Schwartz, long time CUBE alum, to chat with them at this week’s HP Vertica Big Data conference.

One of Schwartz’s first observations about Vertica was that many practitioners are showing “a lot more interest in use cases.” Comparing the 2014 conference to last year’s inaugural Vertica event, Schwartz remarked that “people are kind of figuring out how they wanted to use Vertica, what they were going to do with it.” This year, though, he’s noticed companies are interested in implementing complex solutions. Customers this year, he said, have more practical questions connected to solving specific business problems.

Attunity in the Big Data ecosystem


Touching on Vertica’s play to establish itself as a company with a sizable, diverse ecosystem, Kelly asked Schwartz to explain Attunity’s role within said ecosystem. Using the metaphor theCUBE hosts employed to describe Vertica — a freight truck that handles like a Ferrari — Schwartz explained that data integration is how companies get the data into the truck and keep that data up to date while the whole Ferrari truck is moving — i.e producing “amazing analytics.” Attunity simplifies the whole process and makes it easier to pull data from a lot or sources, so that users can focus on analytics instead of set up.

How Attunity has adapted to the new Big Data world


Next, Kelly asked Schwartz to address how changes in the Big Data world, like the notion that “big data is heavy,” or dealing with the growing canon of new data sources, impact a data integration player like Attunity. Schwartz commented that while the model has certainly altered in recent years, there are still some ever-present concerns that companies have, like incorporating legacy IT sources.

Expanding on another attitude change in Big Data, Schwartz explained that many companies are re-thinking the “ETL — extract, transform, load — model” in favor of an ELT format, so they can extract, load, and then transform. Changes like these are possible because the nodes where data exist now have so much compute power that it’s no longer necessary to load data into an intermediate server to run heavy transformations. This alteration in process, Schwartz said, is right in Attunity’s wheelhouse: “We don’t try to be the end all be all ETL player […] We focus on the performance, keeping it up to date, keeping it real-time, so it’s actually complimentary.”

In the Big Data age, marketers spend more time with CTOs


Kelly shifted gears to ask Schwartz how marketers use Big Data to do their jobs better, and the types of changes Big Data has brought to the marketing world. In his answer, Schwartz referenced a session he’d attended at HP Vertica in which Pramod Singh of HP spoke about how Big Data can portray all the social activity going on, including statistics that show there is a rate of “about 100 thousand tweets per minute and 700 thousand status updates per minute.”

As a marketing professional, Schwartz said, Big Data opens up new avenues to “find sentiment” and figure out “how [to] rate it, how [to] quantify it.” Big Data offers an alternative view, because it shows that “people’s buying behavior is very influenced by their friends and their peers rather than the traditional venues of marketing.”

Schwartz said he has more interaction with the CTO in order to access new products, new tools, and new ways of thinking. In response to Schwartz’ observations, Furrier shared his prediction that “Big Data will be a driver for providing personalization and value proposition to the right user.” The trick, Furrier said, and Schwartz agreed, is putting “the right thing in front of the right user when they need it.”

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

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