Posted by & filed under business models, Cloud Computing, Data storage, Ecommerce, industry analysis, M-commerce, Uncategorized.

Description: Wal-Mart Stores, struggling to translate its brick-and-mortar success to the Web, is using free software named after a stuffed elephant to help it gain an edge on Amazon.com in the $165.4 billion U.S. e-commerce market.

Source: BusinessWeek .com.

Date: Sept 7, 2011

With its online sales less than a fifth of Amazon’s last year, Wal-Mart executives have turned to software called Hadoop that helps businesses quickly and cheaply sift through terabytes or even petabytes of Twitter posts, Facebook updates, and other so-called unstructured data. Hadoop, which is customizable and available free online, was created to analyze raw information better than traditional databases like those from Oracle (ORCL).

“When the amount of data in the world increases at an exponential rate, analyzing that data and producing intelligence from it becomes very important,” says Anand Rajaraman, senior vice-president of global e-commerce at Wal-Mart and head of @WalmartLabs, the retailer’s division charged with improving its use of the Web.

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Questions for discussion:

  1. What is Hadoop’s competitive advantage against traditional database vendors such as Oracle.
  2. What is unstructured data and why is it such a large concern for companies to find a way to manage it?

6 Responses to “How Large Companies Tackle Big Data with Hadoop”

  1. Diane Langevin

    One of Hadoop’s competitive advantages is that it provides a cost effective and quick approach for consumers to search through an enormous amount of unstructured data from social network users. Other advantages of the software are the customization, dependability and measurability that it produces from raw information. Since Hadoop is already being utilized by Wal-Mart, Twitter, and Facebook I think that says a lot about the effectiveness of the software.

    Unstructured data is information that contains a lot of text such as text based posts on Twitter and Facebook. These do not have a definite data model to describe how data can be used and represented effectively, therefore making it difficult for traditional computer programs to process the information.

    I feel it is important for a company’s well-being to find a way to manage unstructured data because the amount of data from social networking is going to continue to grow and valuable information that is free can be obtained from it. Using software such as Hadoop to process “Tweets” and Facebook posts can lead to obtaining relevant and useful data. I believe a lot of companies should take advantage of this opportunity. I also think there can be a lot of useful information that can be generated from the raw information that comes from social media such as sales forecasting, trends, and advertising methods.

  2. Kevin K

    Unstructured data is information that contains a lot of text, such as twitter posts or Facebook updates. Financial data is considered structured data in that it typically has less text and has more figures. The reason that it is such a concern for companies to find a way to manage it is because there is so much of it and because it provides companies with an unfiltered view of what their customers prefer.

    The article mentioned that this year alone, 1.8 zettabytes of information is going to be created (about 450 billion DVDs worth of information). If large companies are able to sort all of this information into usable consumer data, they will have a huge competitive advantage in the industry. They will be able to attract buyers that otherwise might skip over an unrelevant advertisement.

    Because of the insane amounts of information availble through unstructured data, it is a matter of companies learning how to drink from the fire hydrant.

  3. Taylor C

    Hadoop’s competitive advantage is that it analyzes raw information better than traditional databases such as oracle. Hadoop deals with massive quantities of unstructured information which has a much larger predicted growth in the future. Traditional database companies like Oracle deal in the relational database industry which is much smaller.

    Unstructured data is large amounts of text information that is largely undefined. Hadoop users are able to search through large amounts of data efficiently to see what people are saying about products via social networks. If a company sifts through this information they can gain a competitive advantage as to what consumers value.

  4. Taylor W

    Hadoop has a competitive advantage in that it analyzes raw data more effectively than it’s traditional competition Oracle. Hadoop is very effective at analyzing unstructured data where as Oracle compares data relative to other data; it is relational. Also since large retailers such as Wal Mart use Hadoop it should really make them more appealing to potential users; if it’s good enough for Wal Mart… Unstructured data is data that includes a lot of text as opposed to figures. This includes sources such as Facebook or Twitter. From this data Hadoop users can find trends and information that may be relevant to their business.

  5. Richard Infante

    Hadoop’s competitive advantage is that is goes through so much more data than other companies, Hadoop gathers a lot of data and collects unstructured data that most companies “such as oracle” wouldn’t go through and since most data is unstructured this gives Hadoop a great advantage.

    Unstructured data includes office documents, e-mail, web content, and social media such as facebook and twitter. it is a concern to manage this data since there is so much and it is very relevant to determine peoples wants, trends and other aspects that can help in sales for companies such as walmart.

  6. Jared Henry

    Hadoop has 2 alleged competitive advantages. These include its efficiency and effectiveness as well as the fact that it is free. The only fall back to it as it says is that there are different parts that have to be structured to run together and it takes a specialist to do so. Though this is few number of people as the program becomes more popular and grows the industry will grow with it due to the demand. It is a useful software because it is able to go through unstructured data which is full of different irregularities and is ambiguous and difficult to navigate through and it makes it useful relative information.

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