In lieu of our weekly Favorite Feature Friday post, I thought I’d shake things up a little and share some musings from a recent customer panel that we co-hosted with Cloudera and held at our new San Francisco headquarters. We were lucky to be joined by big data experts from leading-edge companies including Opower, NetApp, Workday and Machine Zone. From analytics challenges to interesting use cases, the panel of practitioners talked big data over some fresh brews.
On freeing data:
“We realized that to make this really valuable we needed to free the data and needed make it valuable to the users to do what they do, they understand this data the best – the engineering teams as well as the customer support teams,” said Marty Mayer, director of customer and service tools at NetApp. “That’s when we really decided that we needed to centralize this into a Hadoop infrastructure and look at tools that allowed us to free that data and do analytics on top of it.”
On self-service data tools:
“Game designers want to know how they can make the product better. So in order to scale this we needed to provide access to data. Traditionally, it would be through a data appliance, but if we could provide something that was self-service, then everyone could just go to that place and get the data that they want,” said Wen-Hao Lee, backend engineer at Machine Zone. “So that is why we adopted Datameer, so we could provide them very easy access so they can get the data not only from the engineers, but also by themselves.”
On the future of data analytics:
“If the future landscape of enterprise software looks like a data-rich product that includes robust machine learning . . . then we are happy to compete on that level,” said Dan Beck, vice president of product management at Workday. “If that means that every line manager knows who on their team is statistically more likely to succeed or leave and we can make recommendations for career path or recommendations for development, so be it. We see it as a sign of success when customers want to roll out findings at a broader base level.”
On data access:
“At this point we have progressed through our data scientist, our data engineers and now all of our product managers have access to Hadoop. What enabled that was the tools that sit on top of it,” said John Davidson, senior product manager at Opower.