22/07/2013 10:33 BST | Updated 21/09/2013 06:12 BST

Big Data and NoSQL for the Enterprise



Big data and NoSQL are creating opportunities for organisations, enterprises and government entities to better serve their customers and markets. One of the biggest challenges for today's Chief Information Officer (CIO) is learning about big data technology options and selecting the one that best serves their organisation's needs.

Many technology companies assume that everyone out there "speaks the same language" as they do. In the NoSQL and big data arena, there is a lot of confusion and hype. Buzz words like "unified data," "valuable insights," " horizontally scalable," and "heightened availability" have many CIOs scratching their heads in confusion trying to determine what they need in their own particular business model, what will segue well into future growth within their industry, and how to best apply the offerings of various vendors to their own ecosystem.

NoSQL is not a new concept, but more and more technology companies, such as MongoDB, are offering enterprise grade NoSQL. As a result, CIOs are eager to take advantage of the benefits that are now available to them.

With the many applications of NoSQL technology, it can be overwhelming to sift through the various offerings and decide the best way to apply it to the needs of your organisation.

Sometimes, observing what others have done with enterprise grade NoSQL can facilitate a deeper understanding of how it can work for a particular ecosystem. Further, it can inspire new ideas and products that can enhance your organisation's customer and employee experience, collect data across various platforms to understand market demand and ultimately drive revenue, and entice top engineering and data science talent to join the enterprise thereby positioning you for success in any highly competitive market.

For example, adoption of a NoSQL database not only enabled Metlife to, in just 3 months, create a consolidated customer view that it had been striving for over the last 10 years (thereby delivering a much needed system along with huge savings in development and resource costs), but it also inspired and motivated project team members.

"We had 60 different teams working together as one group, and they were working nights and weekends not because they had to but because they wanted to," said Senior VP and CIO of Metlife's regional application development.

Further examples of the value of enterprise grade NoSQL are demonstrated by Craigslist, MTV, and many others. Craigslist utilises NoSQL to archive billions of records, because it was built for sharding support and can support a huge, active and growing worldwide community. MTV uses enterprise grade NoSQL as a content management system (CMS) to manage and distribute content for their various television network websites.

Complex web applications, huge data storage, document storage and archiving, e-commerce, social media data sifting and storage, as well as collection, storage and crunching of data points from multiple sources including mobile, web and machine are among the many reasons CIOs are choosing NoSQL.

Enterprise-grade NoSQL technology is proving to be a strong solution for large organisations that have numerous product lines, supporting systems, data point collection, storage and processing needs, as well as for those that need to meet complex regulatory requirements.