Retail Giants Make Transition to Big Data Analytics

November 14, 2012

I came across an interesting article on InformationWeek titled “Why Sears Is Going All-In On Hadoop,” which tells about how some “old-school” companies are making the transition to big data services to access their customer bases. Sears’ admits personalization and customer loyalty were big draws to implementing big data analytics. To go beyond just the surface of available data, the retail giant turned to Hadoop.

The article tells us about the company’s choice of platforms and the benefits of the transition:

“Enter Hadoop, an open source data processing platform gaining adoption on the strength of two promises: ultra-high scalability and low cost compared with conventional relational databases. Hadoop systems at 200 terabytes cost about one-third of 200-TB relational platforms, and the differential grows as scale increases into the petabytes, according to Sears. With Hadoop’s massively parallel processing power, Sears sees little more than one minute’s difference between processing 100 million records and 2 billion records.”

This emerging drive toward IT services shows the basic needs of the enterprise and the reliance upon open source technology as businesses shift to big data services. The article admits there are issues with Hadoop: it is an immature platform and there is a lack of talent and experts in the program. Open source is a viable option for building solutions and experts are needed; enterprise search solution Intrafind does this well.

Andrea Hayden, November 14, 2012

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