What I Learned From Oracle’s BIWA Summit 2015 (Perspective from a Consulting Intern)

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Our Big Data Team, here at M&S, packed up their bags and headed to San Francisco last week for the 2015 Oracle Business Intelligence Warehousing and Analytics Summit. Some of the major topics discussed included: Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and Advanced Analytics.

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The Internet of Things (IoT) is at the peak of Gartner’s Hype Cycle. It is becoming increasingly talked about and there are predictions of billions and billions of sensors by 2020. But what exactly is IoT? IoT involves embedded computing devices interconnected with existing internet infrastructure, such as, wearables and connected cars. Why the hype right now? Sensors, bandwidth, and processing are all very cheap.

With all of this new variety and volume of data coming in from sensors, there needs to be a good way to handle it and many companies are racing to figure this out. According to Gartner’s Hype Cycle, Big Data is now headed through the trough of disillusionment. This means that companies investing in Big Data are being weeded out; many will fail and only few will succeed.

Overall, Big Data has quickly evolved over the recent years. Customers can now integrate data across Hadoop, NoSQL, and Oracle Database with Oracle Big Data SQL, where before Big Data was only for Hadoop.

One of the biggest, and newest, innovations in the Big Data world right now is the announcement of Oracle’s Big Data Discovery, “The Visual Face of Hadoop.” It takes all of the raw data from HDFS and puts it in an easy to use, beautiful UI you can use to find, explore, transform, discover, and share data.

Advanced Analytics was another great topic discussed at the BIWA Summit. A new programming language, Julia, seems to be the “next language to learn” but the most talked about language at the event was R. R is a very popular open source statistical programming language used by statisticians and data scientists. Oracle R Enterprise is a product that integrates R with Oracle Database to prepare the enterprise environment for Big Data.

Shyam Nath from GE, General Electric, gave an interesting example of how IoT, Big Data, and Advanced Analytics helped the Oracle Team USA win the America’s Cup 2013. The winning sailboat had more than 300 sensors to collect data and about 3,000 variables running at ten times per second. They pulled about a gigabyte of data per boat per day and about 200 gigabytes of video per day!

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The performance chase boat was used as the “analytical hub,” where different analyses were run live while the boat was sailing to predict what would happen in the next few seconds, minutes, or hours. Thus, the team’s win would not have been possible without Big Data.

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