24% of Companies Hadooping!

| March 25, 2013

Hadoop NothingBy Clint Boultin and Michael Hickins :  Analytic software vendorMapR Technologies  this week raised $30 million, ust one sign that companies both large and small are exploring new ways of analyzing business and customer data in order to find a new edge in the market. But the use of Hadoop, an open source software framework MapR uses as a basis for its products, is still relatively rare among large and mid-sized companies. Only a quarter of companies have moved Hadoop projects into real-world scenarios, according to a recent study from Dimensional Research.

The new funding brings the total raised by MapR to $59 million. John Schroeder, the chief executive and co-founder of MapR Technologies, said in a statement that “organizations across industries have experimented and tested various use cases” using Hadoop, and are now ready to use the software to solve actual, rather than hypothetical business problems. Those scenarios include the use of applications sold by rivals in the burgeoning space for analytic software, such as Cloudera Inc., which also sells a version of Hadoop, and Platfora Inc., which provides business reporting capabilities.

So far 24% of companies are using Hadoop in real-world scenarios, and half have not moved Hadoop trials beyond the planning phase, according to a RainStor-sponsored survey of 107 data management professionals conducted last month by Dimensional Research. Almost 70% expressed facing technical challenges. Manual coding demands, training requirements and the time required to bring a Hadoop project to production were cited as stumbling blocks.

But Diane Hagglund, principal at Dimensional Research, sees Hadoop’s challenges as par for the course with any new technology. “Early adopters are super technical people that can make things work,” she said, adding that Hadoop’s 24% real-world implementation rate is quite encouraging for a new technology.

According to IDC analyst Dan Vesset, only 10% of mid-sized to large North American organizations are using Hadoop today. “It’s still relatively early,” said Mr. Vesset, echoing Ms. Hagglund.

One company that already has taken Hadoop to the business is online automotive marketplace Edmunds.com Inc. As CIO Journal’s Clint Boulton reported Tuesday, Edmunds.com is using data analytics to help car dealers
predict how quickly their cars will sell. An earlier Big Data initiative helped the company save $1 million annually in the fees it pays Google Inc. for online advertising.

Edmunds.com’s latest Hadoop project involves mining the browsing habits of its 18 million unique monthly visitors for trends and individual preferences. The goal is to use this data to build recommendations for each user. CIO Philip Potloff equated the experience to recommendation engines found on Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc.

Mr. Potloff said it is too early to quantify the business value of the dealer performance app, but beyond the $1 million saved annually on advertising fees, being a Hadoop early adopter holds additional benefits.
“Democratizing access to data has been really powerful,” Mr. Potloff said.


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