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Big Data & Brews: The Future of Big Data by Think Big Analytics CEO

By on April 29, 2014

Last week, over my first taste of a Lagunitas Hop Stoopid, I had the chance to talk to Ron Bodkin, the CEO of Think Big Analytics, about where he thinks big data will be in the next five to 10 years. Check out what he has to say about changing storage dynamics, bifurcation in spinning disks and how the underlying architecture is going to shift.



Stefan:           Ron, you have a really good perspective flying above all those different vendors and companies, and a lot of experience with diverse customer sets, where is this all going in five to ten years? Where will we be?

Ron:                That’s a great question. From our perspective we’re in the early stages of the journey towards big data. The whole industry will come along. The economy’s going to really change in meaningful ways as more companies become data-driven, as you get start-ups that are using big data as a weapon to change value chance.

I think over time what you’re going to see is that the data platform, the analytics platform will be integrated in to drive strategic outcomes in many companies; that they’re going to use data science as a fundamental way of both thinking about strategy, how to resolve – how do you come up with experiments that test and learn about what’s going to work as well as process execution, having the right data, breaking down silos in front of people that are acting in a process and the right level of automation to drive response as events come in that you can use machine learned models that are continuously being approved?

From the technology standpoint, that’s going to mean you’re going to have rich platforms based on open source that are used for both real time response and for the analytic core. You’re going to continue to have evolution. One of the things that’s going to be an interesting X factor that will hit over the next five, ten years is changing storage dynamics.

As you start to see things like solid state memory that functions a lot like D RAM, but retains data when power is off; so, use of more solid state storage, along with spinning disks, is going to be really interesting.

Even smaller things like the fact that increasingly really large disks are not being designed to have access to data be as easy; that they’re being designed in complex ways that are not as efficient. You’re getting some bifurcation even in spinning disk.

The changes in the underlying architecture are going to be interesting. In a space where you’ve got just massive innovation, you’re going to see a lot of different ideas flourish around virtualization, and open stack, and cloud. You’ll see more big data capabilities moving to the cloud over the next few years.

There’ll be … some of the current challenges and limitations in cloud will be resolved. Some of the current cultural disadvantages of cloud, skepticism about cloud will be mitigated. Just like 10 years ago to say you’d put customer data in the cloud would be considered heresy. Now salesforce.com is ubiquitous.

Stefan:           Multi-billion dollar … yeah.

Ron:                That’s another trend you’re going to see is definitely a lot of factors converging. What won’t change, what’s clear is that it’s going to take a while. There’s a lot to learn about really driving innovation and changing culture to deliver value for big data. Over the next decade, it’s going to have probably a bigger impact on economic growth than the wave of client server computing and workflow automation had in the ’90s. It’s going to create a tremendous amount of value for humankind.

Stefan:           Great, thank you very much for coming by.

Ron:                Cheers.

Ron:                Thank you.

Stefan:           Cheers.

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Stefan Groschupf

Stefan Groschupf

Stefan Groschupf is a big data veteran and serial entrepreneur with strong roots in the open source community. He was one of the very few early contributors to Nutch, the open source project that spun out Hadoop, which 10 years later, is considered a 20 billion dollar business. Open source technologies designed and coded by Stefan can be found running in all 20 of the Fortune 20 companies in the world, and innovative open source technologies like Kafka, Storm, Katta and Spark, all rely on technology Stefan designed more than a half decade ago. In 2003, Groschupf was named one of the most innovative Germans under 30 by Stern Magazine. In 2013, Fast Company named Datameer, one of the most innovative companies in the world. Stefan is currently CEO and Chairman of Datameer, the company he co-founded in 2009 after several years of architecting and implementing distributed big data analytic systems for companies like Apple, EMI Music, Hoffmann La Roche, AT&T, the European Union, and others. After two years in the market, Datameer was commercially deployed in more than 30 percent of the Fortune 20. Stefan is a frequent conference speaker, contributor to industry publications and books, holds patents and is advising a set of startups on product, scale and operations. If not working, Stefan is backpacking, sea kayaking, kite boarding or mountain biking. He lives in San Francisco, California.