How Wal-mart created a big data pool

Author: Edd Dumbill, James Kirk (

Categories: data disruption
One prominent leader in data won't surprise you, it's Wal-mart.  You know, they've been ahead in the analytics game for a long time, partially because they could afford to be, and buy the big iron.  And you know, the vast investments in various areas of BI and analytics, but they're also a global corporation with a large number of divisions.  And they got into using big data technology early on, specifically Hadoop.  And the things they've really realised with this technology is the ability to pour all their data into a data lake, and provide that data back out to departments that actually need it, in a timely fashion.  In their previous set up where they had siloed analytic bases, it might take three weeks for some, for a business unit owner to get the data that they want, because they have to send it off and retrieve it from a particular database.  It would also cost a lot.  Because if you couple the database analysis technology with the actual storage, it gets very expensive.  The big data technologies have allowed them to decouple the storage from the analytical tools, and then only provide the data that's needed for analysis at any one point of time, and globally index the analytics data that they have.
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