by Christine Mykota, North American Ecosystem Group, SAP

Once there was a young company. After two-years of grit and single-mindedness, the IT staff finally integrated its ERP and CRM data. Now, they  thought, they would live happily ever after.  And hand in hand with their data they rode off into the sunset… That is, until the evil board asked to examine data on the company’s brand awareness broken down by geographic territory. The president passed on the request to the merry IT staff with great confidence.  But he was surprised when the only response he got back was – silence.

This could happen to you and your company if you believe that you don’t need Big Data analytics to help you get the answers you need. Even if your volume of data is not substantial compared to large enterprises, you still need analytics tools. What the president in this story didn’t understand is that Big Data is more than just “lots of data.” It’s also diverse data types from traditional sources such as point-of-sale to the non-traditional unstructured social media interactions. New data is also created every day at different speeds to, from, or within your organization.

Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses Have Big Data Too

A white paper from Mint Jutras suggests that businesses of all sizes need to be concerned about Big Data. Unless:

  1. You have all the data you need, and
  2. The data is readily accessible, and
  3. You can trust your data implicitly.

If you can’t say you have these three “data musts” with 100% confidence, then you need a data management strategy – and the correct technology to support it.

MapReduce, HDFS, ETL, and Hadoop – Oh My! 

You may have heard these and other buzzwords around Big Data.  We find that small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) trying to get a handle on Big Data are paralyzed by the confusion of it all. To make Big Data work for you, it’s important not to get tied up with these technicalities. SMBs can cost effectively navigate the confusing Big Data landscape by starting with a solution that can store their diverse and quickly expanding data types –while still playing nice with all of these buzzword technologies.

Enter SAP Sybase IQ, a proven database solution that boosts performance and is also flexible. One reason SAP Sybase IQ is so incredibly successful – with four times more customers than all other column databases combined – is its ability to work with other technologies.

To understand just how flexible SAP Sybase IQ is, a white paper from Bloor Research, written by Philip Howard, outlines four methods that can be used to integrate Hadoop, the open source software library for processing Big Data, and SAP Sybase IQ. The flexible options for Hadoop integration are: client-side federation, ETL processing, data federation, and query federation. The result is a solid technology platform for a complete data base strategy.

No matter how small your business is, you can’t ignore Big Data and the integration of structured (point-of-sale data) and unstructured (social media interactions) data. The first step is to think about the underlying data strategy, and the next is to understand and build a sound technology platform to support that strategy.

Learn more about how you can have your business run better and remain agile by reading these two excellent white papers, Do You Need A Data Management Strategy? , and Big Data Analytics with Hadoop and Sybase IQ .