UPDATED 21:10 EDT / JUNE 06 2016

Rob Thomas, IBM Analytics - Apache Spark Maker Community Event 2016 NEWS

Spark creates universal access to data: Can data be ‘more human’? | #SparkBizApps

It’s obvious that technology is rapidly growing and changing, but can data be more human? With Spark becoming a highly desired platform comes the advent of more complex data personas. Techies and data scientists everywhere must move from their solo work styles into a more team-oriented environment.

Rob Thomas, VP of Product Development at IBM Analytics, talked with John Walls and George Gilbert (@ggilbert41), cohosts of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, during the Apache Spark Maker Community event in San Francisco about Spark and data personas.

Where’s the inspiration?

With IBM giving Spark its endorsement a little over a year ago, it has grown to be the second-largest contributor to the project, according to Thomas. It is “the most organic open-source system since Linux,” Thomas said.

As such, it is harder to find what exactly inspires companies and the project itself to move forward. The answer is looking to the consumer, figuring out what they want. Thomas seeks to bring the business to the community. And he pointed out that companies must now look at dominant use cases, such as self-service access to data, 360-degree views of the customer and real-time use in order to create more beneficial relationships with the consumer.

One of the most interesting things about being human is our complexity, and now machines and data are reaching very similar levels. There are various fluid data layers that must be worked through and understood to make the whole project complete. However, IBM seeks to “make data simple,” according to Thomas.

He summed up the interconnectedness of Spark by comparing it to Formula 1 racing where Spark acts as the chassis of the car. Though the chassis is the core of things, the pit crew, wheels and more are needed to win the race. That’s the value of an open-source system, the whole team can pitch in to take the win, Thomas stated.

The team sport

With such a large open-source system comes a need to share ideas. Many feel that when aggregating these ideas and processes it can become much easier to let intellectual property slip to competitors. However, this is not the case, and taking advantage of shared processes and similar inputs only sets everyone at an advantage when it comes to open-source systems — “serving enterprises makes that possible,” according to Thomas.

He added that Spark gives “universal access” to a variety of data and data stacks. With so much access there has to be more hands and minds involved; there has to be teamwork.

Watch the full interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of the Apache Spark Maker Community 2016.

Photo by SiliconANGLE

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