Infochimps isn’t monkeying around with Big Data, they’re busy delivering insights to customers’ doors. “We’re the ones who let the genie out of the bottle,” says Jim Kaskade, Infochimps’ newish CEO. The genie, of course, is the one who provides strategic insights gleaned from big data, that make your company smarter and more able to act based on knowledge, than the competition.
Kaskade is betting that the Infochimps team, which includes the company’s cofounders Flip Kromer, Joseph Kelly and Dhruv Bansal, will be able to supply the differentiating (big) data driven insights and that Fortune 1000 will want to buy them.
Making a Bet on Big Data Results
Computing giant CSC is backing Kaskade’s bet; the $22 billion, 98,000 employee computing giant purchased tiny (less than 50 employees) Infochimps earlier this year.
CSC probably bought Infochimps because it offers an attractive proposition to Fortune 1000 companies whose C-level executives drop words like Hadoop more often than “hocus-pocus,” but who admit, in private, that they don’t really know what it means. The truth is they might not really care; after all, what they want is a data-driven strategy to beat the competition and to provide phenomenal returns for the shareholders.
That’s where Kaskade and his team come in; they know data, they know Hadoop and they know analytics; but that’s not all. They also know that Enterprise bosses don’t want to stress over any of that, so they offer to take on their “big data stress” by offering Big Data Platform as a Service solutions.
Infochimps, which was originally founded as a datamart in 2009 was re-introduced as a Big Data PaaS earlier this year, but they’ve now created an application layer on top of it. At the Strata + Hadoop World Conference in New York City yesterday, Kaskade launched a disruptive suite of what he calls “Application Reference Designs.”
“This isn’t just Hadoop as a Service,” says Kaskade, “We now provide answers to business problems. We process data in real time all the way to batch.”
If that last sentence threw you for a loop, no worries. Kaskade’s alternate explanation is that via the platform users can now ask a question (requesting a big data-driven answer), walk over to the water cooler and have the result waiting when they return back to their desk, provided that they’re already set up on the platform, that is.
Speed to Deployment, Speed to Results
If not, getting set up isn’t much of a burden, especially if you use CSC’s public cloud, “You could be up and running in 30 days,” says Kaskade. That may even be the case if you want to run big data on premises. There are various other choices and configurations as well: a public cloud, a client-owned private cloud, a hybrid and so on. The key isn’t so much where you keep and do analytics on your data, but that you do so in short order. Kaskade points that companies are giving up competitive advantage every day in which they don’t leverage big data.
And that’s why Infochimps layering the Application Reference Designs into the Big Data PaaS is such a big deal. It offers more speed because there’s one less step that needs to be taken.
Does it cost more than doing it yourself? It may be a question that isn’t worth answering because the competitive advantage that Big Data solutions will offer overshadows most every answer. Besides, says Kaskade, “We won’t take on a project unless it provides a substantial (positive) revenue effect.”
During Kaskade’s presentation at Strata, he urged Enterprises to get started with Big Data now.
We asked him to tell us what that might look like. Here’s what he said:
Think of a use case, how big data can help you solve a problem you have. We’ll help you limit the use case and select the technology (Infochimps works with a variety of Hadoop distributions). Then limit the scale. Move quick and see if you gain value. If you’re going to fail, fail fast.”
The mandate, from Infochimps, is that Enterprises must, at the very least, test the waters of the lake which holds big data solutions. And Kaskade and his team have made that easy to do. They are certain that your time to market with Big Data is more valuable than any cost you might incur. He’s got a huge backer and a number of notable companies to testify on his behalf.
If you haven’t already, will you give Big Data a try? We’d love to know why or why not.
Title image courtesy of Fer Gregory (Shutterstock)
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