Hadoop World Take Aways

28 11 2011

I deeply respect innovation and innovators – which is why I was thrilled to get to hear Doug Cutting speak at Hadoop World, and to meet the original Hadoop (Doug’s son’s stuffed elephant). Not that I can find much in common between Hadoop the elephant and Hadoop the framework for scalable, distributed compute and store. At Nokia we’re using the latter Hadoop to help us manage large amounts of semi and unstructured data. That data is our most important asset for enabling what we call the third wave of mobility – where we index the physical world in order to make it as simple and compelling to navigate the real world as it is to navigate the web. Kinda cool, huh? I talk about that some more in my interview with TheCube.

The Hadoop World conference was great – lotsa good speakers, interesting topics, new learnings. Beside being struck by conference growth (doubled from last year in number of attendees, which doubled from the year before), I had a few key takeaways:

  1. Organizing people to deal with Big Data is a challenge. We’ve devised what we call a collaborative working model at Nokia, where our central analytics team provides the technology, the data asset, and a foundation for analytics – which can then be used by data scientists and analysts through the company. This organizational model resonated with a number of attendees at the talk I gave on Big Data and organizational change.
  2. Hadoop is NOT a one-stop-shop, for anyone. Building a Big Data environment is about building an ecosystem. Ecosystem of apache projects, of course, but also as you implement you must make an ecosystem leveraging existing SQL, BI, stats tools. This makes adoption and implementation easier because you slide Hadoop under a lot of existing technology, which is particularly important in a company the size of Nokia – ain’t gonna change the way 60 thousand people work overnight.
  3. I love being a buyer: I’ve spent most my career on the vendor side of the house. Of course I love the attention from having a nice budget, but the real perk is being able to look at all the technology and figure out what makes sense for my business problem…vs peddling one solution over ‘n over.
  4. Everyone is hiring. Data is BIG and there are not enough technical or business leaders that know how to take advantage of the opportunity. This is a young industry with non linear opportunity. Just about every presentation at the conference ended with “We’re Hiring”. It got to be the joke of the conference after a while.

Oh, by the way, “At Nokia we’re hiring”.Smiley

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