Too many organizations suffer from data stagnation, in which data lies untapped and does no good at helping to drive business decisions. The result is a growing need to discover relationships within that data, says Brian Clark, a vice president at Objectivity, who spoke with Information Management at the recent Strata & Hadoop World conference in San Jose, CA.

This need for data relationships is also driving growing interest in graph analytics, Clark says. He shared his thoughts on what challenges data professionals are facing, including that of demonstrating business value.


Information Management: What are the most common themes that you are hearing among conference participants that you are speaking with and how do those themes align with what you expected?

Brian Clark: Based on the conversations I had with attendees at Strata, I was expecting common themes around big data and streaming fast data, but I also noticed an increased interest in graph analytics. There was definitely more awareness of graph technology at this year’s conference than in previous years.


IM: What are the most common challenges that attendees are facing with regard to data management and data analytics?

BC: People are moving beyond just data analytics, and they’re more aware of the value in data relationships, which is why I noticed such an interest in graph analytics. They want to get more value out of the data they already have, but they can’t rely on the old ways to get that value.


IM: What are the most surprising things that you are hearing from attendees regarding their data management initiatives?

BC: The most surprising thing was that many aren’t achieving the returns that they were expecting. McKinsey reported that only 1% of data within the Internet of Things is being used, but I witnessed that first-hand at Strata when people revealed that a lot of their data is just sitting there. They need a clear understanding of how to leverage that data in order to see their desired ROI.


IM: What does your company view as the top issues or challenges with regard to data management and data analytics in 2016?

BC: Although there is an increase in awareness around graph analytics, we still have a long way to go to educate the community and demonstrate real business value. The shift toward commodity hardware and open source software proves that another challenge is achieving scalability without incurring massive expenses. People want to adopt platforms that are low-cost but still highly scalable and [strong] performing.


IM: How do these themes and challenges relate to our company’s market strategy this year?

BC: These challenges align well to Objectivity’s market strategy, because our latest product ThingSpan is a distributed graph analytics platform that is integrated with the Hadoop and Spark ecosystems and scales out on commodity hardware.

We have years of experience delivering cost-effective, massively scalable software platforms for our customers, and it was great to demonstrate our expertise at Strata, where we gave a joint presentation with CGG GeoSoftware, one of our longtime customers in the oil and gas industry. This year we plan on replicating that business value to our growing customer base.

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