July 1, 2013

The Open Data Center Alliance is Paving the Road for Big Data

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Big data is quickly becoming an integral aspect of the business marketplace. According to a McKinsey & Company study, companies in 15 of 17 American economic sectors possess more data than the Library of Congress. The growth is good news for businesses because big data can lead to an invaluable increase in productivity and revenue. However, it is important that growth is met with regulations and standards to ensure efficiency and cost effectiveness.  Since there is a staggering amount of data accumulating, broad access and interoperability is essential.

Furthermore, rapid growth has led to a confusing amount of terms and definitions. The lack of a unified vocabulary can make big data topics confusing and hard to communicate. Conveniently, the Open Data Center Alliance is attempting to bring clarity to the issue.

Founded in 2010, the Open Data Center Alliance is an association of leading IT organizations.  The overarching goal of the organization is to effectively cope with the explosion of online services and mobile devices by unifying and regulating standards. With big name clients like BMW, Lockheed Martin, Marriott Services and JP Morgan Chase, the ODCA is an important voice in developing business technology. Originally, the alliance aimed to influence industry innovations that will speed and enhance the development of cloud computing. Currently, the ODCA is expanding their focus and recently released a fantastic paper that addresses big data.

The “Open Data Center Alliance: Big Data Consumer Guide” is a paper that explains the possibilities and challenges of big data. The paper is extremely informative and useful for both newcomers and experts on big data. It provides an overview of big data and establishes definitions and language for use in big data communication. Additionally, it gives an overview of classifications and discusses several undeveloped aspects of the technology.

Another reason to read the document is because it presents relevant use cases for big data. This section highlights potential uses and categorizes which sectors they are most applicable. The document attempts to promote the growth of big data by providing recommendations that can benefit solution providers as well as enterprise consumers. Although it is not a comprehensive reference guide, it is an excellent resource for information on big data and big data applications.

In addition to their goal of unifying communication, the ODCA created the Data Services Workgroup to focus on researching how enterprises can effectively use big data. The intent of ODCA’s big data program is to bring solution providers and enterprise consumers together in order to promote big data technologies that are open and standards-based. By enhancing interoperability companies will be able to access big data quickly and effectively.  At Forecast 2013, ODCA presented their Master Usage Model which provides comprehensive guidelines for enterprises to use Information as a Service. The model discusses tools for data management, security and delivery.

Big data is becoming more important by the minute. It is essential for business owners to develop an understanding of how big data relates to business success.