Does the Big Data Solution Exist?

What is a Big Data solution and what does it take to make a project successful? Perform your own experiment by posing this question to technology companies in the Big Data space. Then pose the same question to the pure service providers that are focused on Big Data. Finally, pose the same question to a few customers. Here is what I have found:

Technology providers will talk in terms of their specific contribution to the solution. Let’s think of the architectural stack from the bottom up. In the simplest terms, the Big Data solution is enabled by the infrastructure, the platform for the analytics to be performed, data software (which includes everything from data ingestion to statistical analysis), the visualization of the data, and the applications that depend on this solution. It is the sum of the parts, which no one vendor has, which makes up the enabling technologies that is “Big Data.”

big data 2 300x168 Does the Big Data Solution Exist?Service providers will talk in terms of business needs to understand what value there is in the data (e.g., use case discoveries, the data science engagements, proof-of-value offerings, implementation assistance, and application development).

Customers interested in Big Data are looking to simplify things to get to the incremental and previously unattainable insights that are the promise of Big Data. That journey, however, is a very complex one and one that is not without risk. The customer answer depends on who you ask. Ask IT and they may talk technology and the partners they prefer. Ask the application team or analytics team and your answers will straddle both the business value discussions and the technology needed to get to those answers. Lastly, the more progressive line of business decision makers aren’t interested in the complexities that make up a Big Data solution, but they are interested in the game changing insight that will allow them to create new service offerings or help to make the business more efficient as a result of the analytics being performed.

Is it now time to say that all of these answers combined is what makes up a Big Data solution? Not quite. Compliance and security are considerations businesses must address. Add to this, the deployment options which include on-premise bare metal, on-premise private cloud, a private secured cloud, a hybrid approach with both data center and cloud resources available, and finally public options like Amazon, Google, AT&T, and others. Not to mention, the talent needed to do this all in-house by customers of all sizes isn’t readily available.

The war to win in the Big Data space is being waged and customers are in the middle of it. Continuing the analogy further, customers would like to sit the war out and have the Big Data solution provided to them, removing the confusion, complexity and concern.

Now ask yourself the question, “What is a Big Data solution and what does it take to make your project successful?” Now the answer…it’s easier than you think. Ask yourself who has the technology expertise, services capabilities, customer proof points, provide flexibility in deployment, and has the option to provide all of this in a managed service so that you pay for just what you use. Those who provide “The Big Data Solution” exist. You just need to ask the right questions and look in the right places for those answers.

Alan Geary, VP of business development at Infochimps, a CSC Big Data Business, has focused on business and channel development at software and technology companies that have grown through partnering. Alan has a unique combination of Big Data and Cloud experience by working over the last decade at both a Hadoop distribution company and VMware. Both companies doubled revenue year over year with the partnerships playing a significant role in the adoption of both Hadoop and virtualization respectively.

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Live at Strata: Announcing a Workshop with our Big Data Experts

And we’re live at the 2014 O’Reilly Strata Conference! For the next three days, we’ll be joining the most brilliant minds in the Data and Analytics space to discuss the latest (and emerging) tools, technologies, trends and best practices. This year at Strata, Infochimps CEO Jim Kaskade will describe the state of Big Data from the perspective of our company’s work with some of the world’s top companies. He’ll provide a vision of what’s in store for the business landscape in 2014 and share some surprising trends in the world of data-driven decisions. Learn more about what Jim and the rest of our team are up to at the conference here.

4HdeoVb Live at Strata: Announcing a Workshop with our Big Data Experts

February Strata season always gets us excited, but this year we’re thrilled to present a specialized workshop with our leading Big Data Experts. With individualized attention to your business, our experienced team will help you apply key Big Data concepts and teachings to your own business problems and opportunities. If you’re interested in getting personalized recommendations, you can request a workshop here or ask any of the chimps at booth #740 for more info.

On that note, we can’t wait to chat with our peers here in Santa Clara, so be sure to stop by and say hello to us at booth #740 (we’ll be handing out awesome t-shirts too—seriously, take a look). See you out on the floor!

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Announcing Application Reference Designs

Today at the Strata NY + Hadoop World Conference, we announced a new key component to our business analytics offerings, which empowers enterprises with agile development and rapid deployment of scalable Big Data applications.

Designed with the expertise gained from experience with our customers in ad tech, manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and with use cases involving social media, and customer service, these pre-packaged frameworks for the development of Big Data applications enable businesses to quickly execute targeted and agile analytics strategies tailored to the individual needs of an organization.

CxOs can not afford to wait 24 months for their Big Data application to launch before they start making mission-critical course corrections to their business. Our customers need to deliver value years ahead of their competition.

Today I’m pleased to announce the launch of a disruptive suite of Application Reference Designs, fueling a new era of analytic application development.

App Reference Designs Release Image 2 300x123 Announcing Application Reference Designs

Read the Full Press Release Here >

Request a Demo >

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Infochimps, a CSC Company = Big Data Made Better

Post by Jim Kaskade, CEO

What’s a $15B powerhouse in information technology (IT) and professional services doing with an open source-based Big Data startup?


It starts with “Generation-OS”. We’re not talking about Gen-Y or Gen-Z. We’re talking Generation ‘Open Source’. announcement 240x240 Infochimps, a CSC Company = Big Data Made Better

Massive disruption is occurring in information technology as businesses are building upon and around recent advances in analytics, cloud computing and storage, and an omni-channel experience across all connected devices. However, traditional paradigms in software development are not supporting the accelerating rate of change in mobile, web, and social experiences. This is where open source is fueling the most disruptive period in information technology since the move from the mainframe to client-server: Generation Open Source.

Infochimps = Open Standards based Big Data

Infochimps delivers Big Data systems with unprecedented speed, scale and flexibility to enterprise companies.  (And when we say “enterprise companies,” we mean the Global 2000 – a market in which CSC has proven their success.) By joining forces with CSC, we together will deliver one of the most powerful analytic platforms to the enterprise in an unprecedented amount of time.

At the core of Infochimps’ DNA is our unique, open source-based Big Data and cloud expertise. Infochimps was founded by data scientists, cloud computing, and open source experts, who have built three critical analytic services required by virtually all next-generation enterprise applications: real-time data processing and analytics, batch analytics, and ad hoc analytics – all for actionable insights, and all powered by open-standards.

CSC = IT Delivery and Professional Services

When CSC begins to insert the Infochimps DNA into its global staff of 90,000 employees, focused on bringing Big Data to a broad enterprise customer base, powerful things are bound to happen. Infochimps Inc., with offices in both Austin, TX and Silicon Valley, becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary, reporting into CSC’s Big Data and Analytics business unit led by Sashi Reddi, VP and GM.

The Infochimps’ Big Data team and culture will remain intact, as CSC leverages our bold, nimble approach as a force multiplier in driving new client experiences and thought leadership. Infochimps will remain under its existing leadership, with a focus on continuous and collaborative innovation across CSC offerings.

I regularly coach F2K executives on the important topic of “splicing Big Data DNA” into their organizations. We now have the opportunity to practice what we’ve been preaching, by splicing the Infochimps DNA into the CSC organization, acting as a change agent, and ultimately accelerating CSC’s development of its data services platform.

Infochimps + CSC = Big Data Made Better

I laugh many times when we’re knocking on the doors of Fortune 100 CEOs.

“There’s a ‘monkey company’ at the door.”

The Big Data industry seems to be built on animal-based brands like the Hadoop Elephant. So I keep running with the animal theme, by asking C-levels the following question when they inquire about how to create their own Big Data expertise internally:

“If you want to create a creature that can breathe underwater and fly, would it be more feasible to insert the genes for gills into a seagull, or splice the genes for wings into a herring?”

In other words, do you insert Big Data DNA into the business savvy with simplified Big Data tools, or insert business DNA into your Big Data-savvy IT organization? In the case of CSC and Infochimps, I doubt that Mike Lawrie, CSC CEO, wants to be associated with either a seagull or a herring, but I do know he and his senior team are executing on a key strategy to become the thought leader in next-generation technology, starting with Big Data and cloud.

Regardless of your preference for animals (chimpanzees, elephants, birds, or fish), the CSC and Infochimps combination speaks very well to CSC’s strategy for future growth with Big Data, cloud, and open source. At Infochimps, we look forward to leveraging CSC’s enterprise client base, industrialized sales and marketing, solutions development and production resources to scale our value proposition in the marketplace.

“Infochimps, a CSC company, is at the door.”

Jim Kaskade


Infochimps, a CSC Company





How To Do a Big Data Project: A Template for Success

BDPTscreenshot How To Do a Big Data Project: A Template for SuccessBig Data is sweeping the business world – and while it can mean different things to different people, one thing always rings true: data-driven decisions and applications create immense value by utilizing data sources to discover, present, and operationalize important business insights.

While there is broad industry consensus on the value of Big Data, there is no standardized approach for how to begin and complete a project. This how-to guide leverages our repeated success at working with enterprises to stand up Infochimps Cloud solution in complex organizations and technical environments.

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We’ve narrowed it down to 4 key steps to successfully implementing your Big Data project. This part how-to, part working doc will empower your organization to achieve your defined business objectives through Big Data, regardless of the various technical environments.

This Template Also Includes:

  1. Real-life Use Cases
  2. Technical Requirements Worksheet
  3. Business Overview Worksheet
  4. Tips, Tricks, and How-To’s

Download Now and achieve a faster path to ROI; prove the value of Big Data internally; and scale to support more data sources and use cases.

“We’ve successfully empowered a number of Fortune 1000 companies with Big Data systems used to increase bottom lines, and we’ve done so at incredible speed. We’ve done this by combining the power of cloud as a delivery model, along with best practices represented in this project guide.”

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Serial entrepreneur Jim Kaskade, CEO of Infochimps, the company that is bringing Big Data to the cloud, has been leading startups from their founding to acquisition for more than ten years of his 25 years in technology. Prior to Infochimps, Jim was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at PARC, a Xerox company, where he established PARC’s Big Data program, and helped build its Private Cloud platform. Jim also served as the SVP, General Manager and Chief of Cloud at SIOS Technology, where he led global cloud strategy. Jim started his analytics and data-warehousing career working at Teradata for 10 years, where he initiated the company’s in-database analytics and data mining programs.

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[New Whitepaper] Real-Time Data Aggregation

Fast response times generate costs savings and greater revenue. Enterprise data architectures are incomplete unless they can ingest, analyze, and react to data in real-time as it is generated. While previously inaccessible or too complex — scalable, affordable real-time solutions are now finally available to any enterprise.

StormKafka1 e1366923782399 [New Whitepaper] Real Time Data Aggregation

Read Infochimps’ newest whitepaper on how Infochimps Cloud::Streams is a proprietary stream processing framework based on four years of experience with sourcing and analyzing both bulk and in-motion data sources. It offers a linearly and fault-tolerant stream processing engine that leverages a number of well-proven web-scale solutions built by Twitter and Linkedin engineers, with an emphasis on enterprise-class scalability, robustness, and ease of use.

In this whitepaper, you’ll learn:

  • Definitions & History – batch processing, stream processing
  • Comparison of Stream vs. Batch for Selected Use Cases – includes industry use case: aviation
  • Why Cloud::Streams is the leading stream processing framework

DOWNLOAD1 [New Whitepaper] Real Time Data Aggregation

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Infochimps Recognized in Inaugural Big Data 100 List

CRN Big Data 100 Infochimps Recognized in Inaugural Big Data 100 ListInfochimps is proud to be named among UBM Tech Channel’s CRN 2013 Big Data 100 list, developed by the CRN editorial team to include “vendors that have demonstrated an ability to innovate in bringing to market products and services that help businesses manage Big Data.” The list consists of 3 categories: business analytics, data management, and infrastructure and services.

Infochimps was named within the Big Data infrastructure and services category – identified as 1 out of 25 “IT vendors who can do it all, from data storage hardware and software, to management tools, to business analytics.” We are proud to be recognized alongside other innovative companies such as Amazon Web Services, Oracle, and Rackspace.

Thank you CRN for understanding the struggle with increasing volume, speed and variety of information being generated today; identifying Infochimps Enterprise Cloud as a solution to help companies address their Big Data needs.

229fa9b4 2ea6 4535 8a80 e041d110204c Infochimps Recognized in Inaugural Big Data 100 List

Image Source: CRN

CIOs & Big Data: What IT Teams Want Their CIOs to Know

It’s no secret that enterprises today face an increasingly competitive and erratic global business environment, and that Big Data is more than just another IT project – it’s truly a finger on the pulse of the business. To say that in 2013 Big Data is “mission critical” is to put it mildly – organizations that ignore the insights that Big Data can deliver are flying blind. So, it is all the more disconcerting that 55% of Big Data projects don’t get completed, and many others fall short of their objectives.

In order to understand the reasons for this, Infochimps partnered with, one of the largest enterprise technology-focused, community-driven sites and a source for answers to IT-related questions and professional growth for more than 570,000 members. Together we got survey responses from over 300 IT department staffers – 58% of whom have current Big Data projects underway – on what they most wanted their CIOs to know about the process of implementing Big Data projects.

Read the full report here. >>

Key findings are summarized in the following infographic:
SurveyInfographic Final CIOs & Big Data: What IT Teams Want Their CIOs to Know

While the findings reveal many reasons for Big Data project failure, undoubtedly one of the biggest factors is lack of communication between top managers, who provide the overall project vision, and the data scientist and other IT staff charged with actually implementing it. Far too frequently their opinions are taken as an afterthought, and consequently considered only when projects veer off-course.

Given the stakes, it’s imperative that CIOs have a 360-degree view of all that a Big Data project will involve – not just the various Big Data technologies that are so frequently at the forefront of Big Data discussions.

The insight we gleaned reveals much about both enterprise technology and enterprise culture. In order for companies to succeed with Big Data, executives will need to rethink long-held notions of how diverse departments should function together. In the past “breaking down silos” was a nice mantra. Now, it is imperative. Additionally, CIOs and other enterprise executives may find it necessary to educate their organizations on the advantages of new Big Data applications and processes that will give them better customer insights, make their jobs infinitely easier and give their departments the elasticity needed to meet virtually any business need in real-time.

We hope this report will serve not only as a source of insight, but also be a reminder to seek the invaluable perspective of IT staff as early as possible in the process of developing new, technology-intensive projects.

Read the press release here. >>


A Sneak Preview: Big Data for Chimps, The Book

  • Amanda McGuckin Hager

Big Data for Chimps A Sneak Preview: Big Data for Chimps, The BookI’ve been reading Flip’s book, Big Data for Chimps: A Guide to Massive Scale Data Processing, available for pre-order now from O’Reilly. While I’m no data engineer, I am able to follow along. After reading a bit, it comes as no surprise that Flip helped to found Infochimps with the philosophy of making the world’s knowledge accessible to anyone.  The content is unexpected and engaging. Take, for example, the story of Chimpanzee and Elephant Start a Business, from The Stream Chapter:

Chimpanzee and Elephant Start a Business

As you know, chimpanzees love nothing more than sitting at typewriters processing and generating text. Elephants have a prodigious ability to store and recall information, and will carry huge amounts of cargo with great determination. The chimpanzees and the elephants realized there was a real business opportunity from combining their strengths, and so they formed the Chimpanzee and Elephant Data Shipping Corporation. They were soon hired by a publishing firm to translate the works of Shakespeare into every language. In the system they set up, each chimpanzee sits at a typewriter doing exactly one thing well: read a set of passages, and type out the corresponding text in a new language. Each elephant has a pile of books, which she breaks up into “blocks” (a consecutive bundle of pages, tied up with string).

Read the full chapter (available here: The Stream Chapter) to understand how this example, combined with pig latin, simple streamers, and running Hadoop jobs have to do with each other. You’ll also get two exercises and a Ruby helper section containing tips and tricks.

Amanda McGuckin Hager is a high-tech marketing professional with over 17 years of experience focused on driving demand through strategic marketing programs and is the Director of Marketing at Infochimps. Follow Amanda on Twitter.

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Infochimps CTO Named Top 100 Contributors to GitHub 2012

Github Infochimps CTO Named Top 100 Contributors to GitHub 2012Flip Kromer, Infochimps Founder and CTO, also known as MrFlip, was named by GitHub as one of the Top 100 Contributors in 2012. Flip made over 2,300 contributions to the global, open source developer community.

And he’s in good company. Also on the list are: Linus Torvals of Linux, Erik Michaels-Ober, and Dr. Nic Williams.

In addition to being a prolific code contributor and one of the nations’ leading data scientists, Flip is the author of Big Data for Chimps, A Guide to Massive Scale Data Processing, published by O’Reilly, and available for pre-order now.

About GitHub: Github, a Forbes’ Top Tech Company of 2012 and the largest code host in the world, was founded in 2008 and is leading enterprises to adopt open source technology. Github, known for social coding, was founded as a place for developers to code together, as teams and individuals.

About Infochimps: The Infochimps Platform for Big Data combines leading data technologies with managed cloud services, a strong partner network to empower customers with unprecedented speed, scale and flexibility in their Big Data initiatives. Infochimps is a privately held, venture-backed company with offices in Austin, TX and the Silicon Valley. Follow @infochimps on Twitter.

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