Anything and everything we do in this connected digital world – be it online shopping, Facebook liking, responding to social events, adding new friends in social media, blogging, tweeting, sharing product review, etc. leave a trace of data about us as consumers. Extracting the huge volume of data, identify business value from the data and use them for decision making is all about the intent of Big data analytics.
Everyone agrees that big data means big insight and big decision support. No one denies that today. Challenge is processing big data and that too, there is no one single way or solution in processing this data. Usually, big data is processed in big data lab. Big data lab is a dedicated development environment for experimentation IT infrastructure with presence of big data tools, algorithms, technologies and approaches to process big data and analytics.
If you are going to set up a big data lab, then it is good to understand about some of the potential challenges ahead. And, some of the quick questions you ask yourself..
- Why we do set up a big data lab?
- How much amount of data do we have?
- What all different data formats are we planning to process?
- Which type of storage system we need?
- Do we have right set of people for setting up a big data lab and analytics?
- Can we bear the cost for all these?
If you have answer to all the above questions – yes, well and good. But still you will face some more challenges while setting up a big data lab. Those are:
Cost is often more than expected – Cost will be the biggest issue while setting up a big data lab. You will need huge amount for the all setups. If you want to build a storage for storing the data then you will need expensive hardware for this purpose which must be capable enough to manage large amount of data. If you plan to go for Amazon Web Services, then also you will have to pay for this – per minute, per application, etc.. Different tools and technology will be needed for the different operation during processing of data. You must hire experts like data architect, designer, data analyst, business analyst and many more to handle and operate different operations. In all these things you need to invest huge amount.
Storage Capacity– Working on big data is quite often a big challenge. You need to have new and flexible tools for processing big data because of its variable size and complexity. We can break big data into three Vs i.e. volume, velocity and variety. While setting up the big data lab, we need to consider all these points. Volume of data means the amount of data. We need to set up big data lab for these variable amount of data to be store easily. Velocity refers to the rate of coming data. Variety of data refer to the different types of data. The big data setup should be able to hold the data of these quality.
Data ingestion and Process– The processing of data needs appropriate technology for data integration and data development. We can’t handle all the data processing with same tools and same people. Each time we may need different tools and techniques to analyse the data and so, different skill set as well. We need to be aware of available tools and upcoming technologies. So, it’s a big challenge to cover all these tools and technology part while setting up a big data lab.
Analytics tools and Expertise – The next step in big data processing is analysis. Analyst always need to do a deep dive analysis to improve the knowledge of our customer’s requirement and to make business strategy. We need data analyst for this purpose. Their work is to analyse the data and find out the valuable patterns in data. If you have tools i.e. right analytic tools (SAS, R, Matlab, Excel, , Tableau, etc.) f in your lab – then it would be easy for the data analyst to analyse those data. It is a challenge, if you are a start-up or medium size team, to manage these tools, license cost and right people for the appropriate work in your big data lab.
Visualization tools and experts– The analysis report, final outcome analytics, needs to be presented in a dashboard, or report or visualize them like chart, graph, etc. so that it can be easily interpreted by the client. Visualization expert work on this step and convert the mathematical value into simple visual form. You should have good visualization expert and visualizing tools to perform this task.
Ready for facing all these challenges? Yes! Then go for it, otherwise think again.
Though there could be many challenges in setting up a big data lab, it is always important to remember that the right data can help you make intelligent and smart decisions. Big Data can be a source for this great insight.