Real-time and streaming data have become the new norm for organizations. Anything less simply won’t do.

That message emerged loud and clear at the recent Strata conference in San Jose March 13-17, where attendees have evolved their thinking beyond all-things Hadoop, to a host of topics around data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Also front and center is the Internet of Things and what it is doing to data collection and data access.

“We think of IoT applications in the context of real-time data,” explains Nick Halsey, chief marketing officer at Zoomdata. “Before long there will be more than one trillion sensors connected to the Internet, generating continuous streams of observational data.”

“Databases handled transaction data, Hadoop handled interaction data, but observation data from these ‘things’ is 100-1000x larger than interaction data,” Halsey continues. “So, Hadoop doesn’t work for this use case. You can’t possibly store it all, you can only stream it. We stream water and electricity to our homes to be used as needed, we don’t usually stockpile it. What makes data any different?”

“But where it gets really interesting is that we stream historical data to you as well, just as your DVR can stream “Gone with the Wind” or last week’s “Stranded with One Million Dollars” to your TV or device,” Halsey says. “This distinction is critical. We believe that analyzing data as a stream, whether real-time or historical, adds huge scalability and flexibility benefits that no other approach can achieve.”

New at Strata

So what was new at the Strata event? For one thing - where organizations are at with their data analytics efforts.

“It may not be a surprise, but we were gratified to hear the majority of attendees are moving from prototyping and tire-kicking, to getting their big data initiatives into production,” Halsey notes.

For those organizations that are farther along, “The days of the monolithic business intelligence model are gone,” Halsey says. “Customers want end-user ease of use, embeddable in their own applications, with real-time access to big and real-time data and there needs to be a fast and intuitive way to visualize and drill into these metrics and transform them into actionable insights.”

Enterprises that embrace big data analytics platforms are changing the dynamics across multiple industries, Halsey explains, from data monetization to customer retention to compliance to traffic optimization.

“The analytics stream resulting from this will trigger events that enable businesses to more effectively monetize data flowing through their networks,” Halsey says. “We can plug these analytics into our customer’s application frameworks, so the analytics can be delivered in the context of the business application or process. And with the rapid migration of applications to the cloud, integrators are playing an ever more important role in managing these deployments and managing the cloud services.”

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