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Retail and finance 'biggest drivers of big data'

Retail and finance 'biggest drivers of big data'

Firms operating in the retail and finance sectors are among those most likely to be in need of solutions to make their databases more resilient in the next few years, as these are the firms leading the push towards big data and analytics.

This is according to Rod Smith, fellow at IBM and vice-president for emerging technologies at the firm, who explained in an interview with the Financial Times that for many firms, information will become an essential part of their strategies for the future.

For retailers in particular, this is a huge area, he noted. "They have got point of sale information, customer loyalty information; they have weather now they can factor in; they've got traffic information they can factor in."

All this means they are likely to be highly dependent on their databases in order to stay competitive. With so much information being input into data centers at any one time and a need to effectively process this in order to draw out actionable data, many firms will find they simply cannot afford any unplanned downtime as it will leave them unable to do business.

As a result, solutions such as database clustering that can manage and control large databases could be highly valuable to enterprises, with the number of firms that stand to benefit from these tools set to grow as the era of big data takes hold in more organisations.

Mr Smith explained big data has caught on in a way that many other new technologies have not because there are clear economic benefits to be seen from taking advantage of its capabilities, which means the solution is of interest to personnel outside the IT department.

In some cases, the availability of easy to use open-source solutions has even meant business units can get started quickly using just the data that is relevant to them in order to get fast results.

Mr Smith noted: "At a departmental level people began saying 'I'd like to do some market research, or I want to look over our log files, but it's going to take me forever to get IT to do it. Why don't I just set up my own cluster?'"
 

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