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Making the most out of your Data: Big Data Opportunities
David Inbar
Senior Director, Big Data Products & Solutions-Pervasive Software
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Pervasive Software (NASDAQ: PVSW) develops and distributes data management and integration software to integrate, analyze, secure, manage and harvest data from disparate sources. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the company has a market cap of $146.29 Million.

Few months back, Forrester Research released a report, "Expand Your Digital Horizon with Big Data," for CIOs that focused on how they should approach big data in order to take full advantage of it for their businesses. It addressed how big data is influencing markets across industries and is prevalent in various business sectors, such as healthcare, web marketing and telecommunications. The report also discussed several factors for companies to consider when working with their data, such as redefining approaches to using data beyond traditional BI tools.

Key points included how major potential challenges of big data include not only the cost of the technology but also the shortage of data scientists. Companies are starting to seek professionals with big data skills, stimulated by new pressures to scale large volumes of unstructured data. According to a recent Forbes article by Quentin Hardy, the "data scientist" phenomenon has recently started to emerge in big data con ersations with debates currently over its definition, the skill set required and the data scientist’s role in the big data trend.

Forrester analyst Brian Hopkins, who co-authored the report with Boris Evelson, Sharyn Leaver, Connie Moore, Alex Cullen, Mike Gilpin and Mackenzie Cahill, posted a brief summary of the report on his blog, emphasizing three key questions for companies to address in order to understand and create a big data plan: 1) What is new about big data? 2) What is it? and 3) How will it influence our market?

Some interesting data points, findings and recommendations from the report includes:

1. Forrester surveyed 60 of their clients who are using or experimenting with big data computing. 75 percent of the surveyed clients responded that data volume was the main reason for looking into big data solutions. 58 percent of respondents in Forrester's June 2011 Global Big Data Online Survey reported interest in insight driven by an analytics approach.

2. 70 percent of respondents expressed interest in big data for managing current enterprise information. Therefore, many early adopters are using big data solutions to understand existing information and not new data sources.

3. Cost is the underlying theme for big data challenges. These challenges include:
• Volume, in terms of data amount exceeding how it can be stored cost effectively
• Velocity, in terms of processing data fast enough for businesses to respond and adapt rapidly
• Variety, in terms of integration costs of adding new data feeds and interpreting variable data structures
• Variability, in terms of complex and highly variable data structures that complicate analysis

4. Big data is still in its early stage, and thus serves as a challenge to businesses. To succeed and overcome the challenges, businesses should:
• Encourage collaboration between business and IT
• Create new, agile and compliant processes and approaches to deliver big data solutions
• Adapt quickly to fast-paced, changing technology trends for rapid growth.

As the big data trend continues to flourish throughout industries, companies that tend to have a handle on managing and using their data are able to develop forward-looking strategies and gain a competitive advantage over their competitors. CIOs are facing increased pressure to figure out ways to make use of the company’s data to achieve meaningful insight for valuable business decisions. As a result, this brings up an important question to address: how is the CIO's role evolving as new big data technologies emerge and IT spending in big data increases? Is your business feeling the pressure to join the competitive big data crowd?

Pervasive Big Data encompasses Pervasive's DataRush big data software platform for companies to consume high volume and variable data for complex analysis. We have been watching this big data trend grow for the past two years and have built our tools to help with the challenges of processing and analyzing big data.
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