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The Next Big Thing

Buzzwords are a trend in the IT world and there’s a lot of them to keep up with. But there are some that stick, becoming part of everyday lingo. That’s when IT transforms not just business but also language. We all know the Four Big Ones: Big Data, Cloud, Mobile and Social Media. Let’s add a new one to the mix. Data Lake. More specifically, the Federation Business Data Lake.

Booming loud and clear on the IT and business horizon, Data Lakes will fuel business to greater profit values, solve a whole slew of cost and storage problems, and generate more value per data byte. There is understandably some argument between the finer points of data warehousing versus the new kid on the block – Data Lakes. But data warehousing, useful as it is, is really about understanding what happened, by analyzing the data. Whereas Data Lakes are all about trying to predict what might happen, and prescribing appropriate recommendations and solutions to customers, based on those predictions. Inexpensive storage, limitless compute and real-time analysis is hardly a trio to be ignored when trying to streamline costs and increase efficiencies

What Does It Do?

The Federation Business Data Lake sets out a golden future, actualizing on the promises made by Big Data. It includes storage and big data analytics technologies from EMC, Pivotal and VMware. The services available with the Federation Business Data Lake include EMC Technology On-Boarding Service, Proof of Value Service, Big Data Vision Workshop and Education, Training and Certification Service. This solution is ideal to drive operational value for a business and to be able to gain real time insights. It will doubtless, enable customers to optimally leverage Big Data and getting rid of the old, expensive and huge information silos and promote infrastructural improvement. Case in point was Inovalon, the technology company that analyses healthcare data in the US. Their use of EMC’s Data Lake was the key differentiator in how they ultimately delivered their technology to the healthcare industry.

Who’s Doing It?

Everyone whose business is motivated by technology is interested in this game-changer. The enormity of its reach is indeed, worldwide. Multinational giants like GE, for instance, are using these solutions to make turbines and jet planes more energy efficient, by enabling their communication with other machines, or what’s been nicknamed “Facebook for engines.” Their data scientists are also analyzing data sets in their industrial data lake, from GE’s fleet of aircraft engines to build mathematical models that change how they undertake jet engine maintenance. This analysis will predict when engines will need maintenance and schedule it in advance, thus preventing downtime and losses in the millions.

Major sports companies have understood the importance of data tracking and analysis to the adopter. There is an impressive market of about 285 million wearables by 2017, which is already shaping the future of sports, especially, by 2020, when analysts predict that there will be 50 billion connected Smart devices.

Similarly, major events in the Middle East, 2020 Dubai Expo, 2021 Smart Dubai, the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022 and UAE’s vision for Smart Cities, will all be perfect candidates for EMC’s Federation Business Data Lake.

What’s the Challenge?

On the whole, the Data Lake phenomenon was somewhat criticized for its propensity to turn into a data swamp and lack of understanding about how Data Lakes can really be super-solutions. EMC, allays that fear through the engaging brilliance of the Big Data Vision Workshop, which allows newbie customers to understand and prioritize use cases for the big data they can access, and the main objectives of their business.   EMC does foresee a few challenges in this region, because of the relatively low percentage of highly sophisticated IT skills. But this can be answered by EMC’s consultative approach, via environment analysis and solution. While it is a slightly challenging shift towards deriving extreme business value out of a Data Lake solution, with education, training and successful case studies, this will be a minor hump in a few short months.


What’s Driving Data Lake Expansion?

The amassing of growing data from multiple traditional and modern applications, intelligent devices, social media and developing technologies that capture data, it is inevitable that this data will be wasted if very few can fully capitalize on it, quickly and efficiently. ITaaS and the highlighted role of CIOs and CTOs as direct revenue generators, is also responsible for the adoption of solutions like Data Lakes.

What’s the Benefit to the Middle East?

With Big Data growing across the Middle East, set to cross the USD 24 billion mark in 2016, this solution will help public and private organisations to improve the life of its citizens, analyse the data to provide better essential services like healthcare and education. Energy resources in the region which are scarce due to climate change and growing populations can also be targeted for more efficiency, better distribution and savings. Financial services deliver better when data is analysed correctly, quickly and followed through with more market-sensitive solutions, designed and sold to consumers. This in turn, positively affects the bedrock economy of the entire region.

What’s the Rush?

When it takes all but seven days to radically transform the way your business functions, the quality of data you analyse, the predictive knowledge you offer, it is no surprise that businesses are attracted to the speed, self-service and scalability aspects of this solution. With current availability set to expand through the remainder of 2015, it is only a matter of time before every public and private business, already wooed by the Hybrid Cloud, is diving into a Data Lake.

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