Gaining Business Advantage with Hadoop as a Service

More and more facets of data management are moving towards the cloud. To address this trend, IBM’s BigInsights, a Hadoop as a service offering, gives organizations the opportunity to deploy Hadoop in the cloud.

A recent DBTA website presented by Tej Luthra, global technical advisor, IBM, and Matt Laudato, senior manager for Big Data Analytics at Constant Contact, covered Big Insights, IBM’s ecosystem for big data, how to get started, and how to do more than just Hadoop in the cloud.

The Hadoop market is evolving rapidly as technology is a transforming business strategy. While SQL is still king, machine learning is becoming popular as more millennials enter the data industry.

 “Another component in the market that we have looked at is open source. These emerging technologies are much more mature. There is a huge community to these technologies, so not only is it free but it is very robust,” noted Luthra. “When we built this cloud platform, we really wanted to make sure the cloud works for you.”

BigInsights relies on four pillars: build, manage, support, and protect. It also is compatible with numerous Hadoop components, including Sqoop, Hive, Spark, Hbase, and other Hadoop ecosystem projects. Besides the Hadoop components, BigInsights is also compatible with many of the IBM Cloud Data service offerings as well. These include Cloudant, dashDB, DB2 on Cloud, and IBM Analytics for Apache Spark. “This is not an isolated system. It is interacting with other cloud solutions,” noted Luthra.

Constant Contact, the email marketing organization, deployed BigInsights to help its customers get the most out of their email marketing. With over 650,000 customers and 185,000,000 emails being sent a day to 300,000,000 subscribers, there is a lot of data to manage. Being able to track this data allows for Constant Contact to help its customers create the best emails for their businesses. Step 1 is to grab the customer with an interesting subject line, with 50 characters being the sweet spot for length of the subject line.

“We needed a system that could scale to the point that we could run days, weeks, and months through an algorithm, calculate the buckets and open rates and show what was optimal,” stated Laudato. Once the email is open, step 2 is to get them to take an action. An interesting note Constant Contact found is that emails with less images tended to get the most click rates. Once a potential customer has opened an email, pinpointing which of those customers click through and purchase and download is vital.

“Using BigInsights we are able to find out who are your super fans. Five percent of users on your email list account for 38% of your email opens, while 10% are responsible for 51% of your email opens,” noted Laudato. With this information, Constant Contact helps its customer improve on how to construct their emails, when to send them, and who to send them to, he said.

To watch a replay of this webinar, go here.