Enterprises today are facing more unstructured data than they’re equipped to handle.
Unlike structured data, which is typically collected, managed and viewed in a database with predefined columns and rows, unstructured data is data that “does not have an organized format,” noted Russell Ford, President and Chief Operating Officer of Qumulus Solutions, a managed service partner that assists businesses with designing and managing enterprise IT solutions. “It is often file-based and is manually created; for instance, social media data, Microsoft Word documents and PowerPoint presentations are all examples of unstructured data.”
So how will the data and analytics market evolve to address unstructured, Big Data?
In the below Q&A, Ford discusses the current state of data analytics, and how Qumulus Solutions contributes to the SMB market as a DataGravity early-access partner.
CMR: What made you [Qumulus Solutions] decide to join the DataGravity early-access channel program?
Ford: We see a lot of vendors retrofitting their current designs to add basic storage features. DataGravity uses an innovative design to address storage intelligence and analytics. We see the DataGravity team as a group of proven world-class professionals that are forward thinkers. They will be the leaders in this segment of the industry.
CMR: What benefits of partnering with DataGravity do you find to be most valuable?
Ford: The fusion of storage, intelligence and data insights is cutting edge and separates DataGravity from the rest of the industry. This can be seen as data science in a box, which is truly innovative and something you do not see yet today.
CMR: What role does unstructured data play in storage as of now?
Ford: Unstructured data accounts for about 80% of all data currently stored. Today, storage is currently just a place where data of all types resides.
CMR: What challenges are customers facing when it comes to storage, intelligence and analytics?
Ford: There are multiple facets that play a role in deploying a storage or analytics solution, including selecting the correct hardware, choosing what data to use, determining which integration software to implement and developing the correct algorithm. It is a complicated process that requires a select level of talent that many businesses do not always have access to and it is a very expensive asset. There is little linkage between the storage, intelligence and analytics. The DataGravity approach is to bring these three together to provide actionable intelligent data, so that storage can reach its full potential and provide insight and value on the information it is storing.
CMR: Why will the market evolve to include solutions that manage unstructured data?
Ford: The market will evolve because customers have a massive amount of unstructured data that contains possible business critical insight and there is a need for them to uncover it. They need to know what they don’t know.
CMR: How will these solutions affect your SMB customers’ IT infrastructures?
Ford: The aim is to first simplify the IT infrastructure, make it more competitive and convert it to a competitive advantage instead of an idle asset. Businesses large and small can take advantage of all the data they store by performing an analysis of that data to make better business decisions.
CMR: Why have these solutions not existed to date?
Ford: Because the technology has not existed until recently, there hasn’t been an easy way to integrate this data to perform an analysis that wasn’t labor intensive. With the advent of systems like DataGravity’s, businesses now have the opportunity to do this.
CMR: What do you predict will happen in the next two years when it comes to managing this type of data?
Ford: We already see incredible growth in the request for the analysis of unstructured data to help businesses make better decisions. We can only see the demand increasing as the amount of data businesses amass continues to grow.