Friday Data Story: Big data, social and consumerization

Consumer technologies are making their way into the enterprise.  There’s even a buzzword for it: consumerization.  Here’s a list of examples (from Quora) that span the last five years:


RSS, Profiles, Blogs, Wikis, Discussion Forums as an integrated platform (Wikipedia, WordPress, Typepad, Newsgator, Friendfeed)
Instant Messaging/Presence (Gmail)
Actual use of LinkedIn for recruiting
Point Systems/Levels (World of Warcraft)
Ratings (Amazon)

Video (YouTube!)
Social Bookmarking (Del.ici.ous)
Social Networking (Facebook, LinkedIn)

Microblogging (Twitter)
Mobile (meaning smart phones like iPhone)
Cloud Delivery (Google, Facebook, Everyone)
Actual use of Twitter for marketing

Tablets (iPad)
Standards (OpenSocial)
Badging to drive user behavior (Zynga)
Actual use of Facebook for marketing
Infrastructure like Cassandra, Voldemort, Hadoop (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google)

Interactive Video/Voice (Skype)
Integrated Inbox (Threadsy)
Long Tail App Marketplaces (iTunes/Android)
Auth Standards (xAuth, OpenID, SAML2)
Location Based Awareness/Support for Mobile (FourSquare)
Social Graph based filtering/intelligence (Facebook)

All things “Social” are trending.  We all know the huge impact it has had in consumer sectors.  Now companies, big and small, are looking at ways to harness the advantages of social technologies or products by adapting it within their organizations.  Which reminds me… I read an interesting IT Business Edge blog article earlier this week, Big Data Meets Social Networking in the Enterprise. The article discusses how social networks are impacting the utility of big data (another trending topic, btw) within companies.  Here’s my favorite passage:

The next challenge IT organizations will face in terms of making the information actionable, says Smith, is applying analytics to the trove of data they can now more easily collect. To accomplish that, Smith says IT organizations should start moving to organize that information around metadata constructs that will make it easier to identify trends and correlate disparate sources of information. 

That passage made me stop and think about the growing trend of gathering data from many different sources in the enterprise and making it easier for people to understand and better yet, to make data actionable.  In my opinion, it leads to better decision-making.  And better decisions increase the chance of good results and success.

There is, in my mind, a direct association with how social, big data, and consumerization have converged and with the approach Inforbix takes.  We have a laser focus on “product data”.  And product data is big data.  Our ability to access product data located across CAD, PDM, PLM, ERP and other data sources is growing.  And we are using principles and technologies picked up from the consumer space (e.g. semantics, simple user interface, easy to install and use, affordable).   We want to help manufacturing companies make better use of their product data and possibly, make better decisions.

Best, Oleg