Originally published on Technorati
Big Data Texas Style
Geographically located somewhat half-way between San Francisco’s apps and New York’s publishers is a company that helps pull it all together. Austin, TX-based, Pervasive Software, is a middle-ware provider. What Wikipedia calls, “software glue.” It’s what allows clients to invoke services across multiple databases.
I met with Mike Hoskins, Pervasive’s CTO at SXSW to get a “Texas perspective” on the data industry. “Data is immortal and pervasive,” Hoskins explains. “I’ve been a part of it for over 20 years and you can see the cycle, only this time it’s different.” He explains how technology’s big bursts, first hardware in the 80’s, then software in the 90’s. But this new iteration of data will have more players than ever before.
“Data – not software – is now the center of the IT universe,” Hoskins continues. “Compared to the legacy world of proprietary, poorly documented, metadata-deficient Enterprise APIs, a whole new data-driven world is upon us. The explosion of data-centric APIs and Web services, yields an entirely new generation of lighter-weight, more nimble Apps to exploit this data ubiquity.
So why all the data? For background, my article Big Data for Beginners written last year.
But the crux of it is we’re all getting a bit smarter. What was yesterday’s intuition, or gut feel, is systematically becoming more data-driven insight and predictions. And not just at a big business, big decision level, either. As consumers, it’s happening to us, as well. Trying to avoid traffic with the advice of a mobile mapping app is completely removed from yesterday’s Thomas Guide and a “hunch.”
And this is all happening while consumers (and the markers going after their attention) are demanding more and more information from innovative apps. To borrow a quote from CIO Insight, “CIOs and other corporate executives must allow customers to choose what they want to receive and how they want to receive it. Snail mail, e-mail, text messages, whatever is best.”
The result being, we’re all beginning to make smaller and smaller micro-decisions dependent on equally small data points. Of course, for Pervasive this is great news. Somehow all those data sets need to be connected…
Crash First, Then Fix It
“We live in a “crash first, then fix it” world,” Hoskins told me. “We have little choice. We have no way of anticipating an engine failure or tire tread without human action.” And that’s how we do it today; squat down the car’s side and have a look at our tire tread.
Real-time predictive analytics will change all that. It’s already entering the locomotive industry. EM Diesel’s Electromotive product delivers real-time data on everything from fuel, to engine protection shutdown measures. So the “crash first” experience will gradually go away as data sensing helps us anticipate failures in advance of them.
Introducing the new, “Fix first” world of things from real-time data. Of course, real-time means faster big pipes that flow longer and smaller to the arteries of the data world. Pervasive is a big player in leading the way to a faster, and faster data experience.
So for now, the data in Texas is pretty big. Some great SXSW related articles I recommend: