Friday Apr 25, 2014

Big Data Challenges & Considerations

By: Murad Fatehali

While 'Big Data' is dominating a lot of media and executive attention (it's a Top-5 Initiative according to IDC Retail Insights 2014 Predictions), the underlying considerations & challenges of Big Data are unfortunately getting trivialized.  As corporations and people continue to make the Internet a more fundamental way of life (from social and transactional perspectives), the scope of the underlying data that gets created, stored, retrieved, and analyzed will commensurately and exponentially grow as well. Although many factors and assumptions go into Big Data discussions, outlined below are five pivotal dimensions:

1. Size: This is the most obvious and most talked about factor.  Everybody seems to understand that given the rise of the Internet, coupled with the plethora of apps in the hands of consumers and users, growth in the scale and volume of data is truly astonishing (some say, quantity is doubling every 2 years). However, what gets neglected are the challenges related to storage and analysis of vast volumes of data, captured in a variety of formats, for example: text-based (tweets, SMSs), graphically illustrated (pictures and drawings), and audio-visually represented (podcasts, movies, etc.).  For anyone interested in making sense of Big Data, how efficiently the data gets stored and retrieved will be key factors - no wonder we are seeing an increase in the number and capacity of purpose-built storage systems and lightening-fast data-crunching machines.

2. Sources: Usually Big Data discussions refer to ‘external’ sources like the Internet (Facebook, Twitter) and media (digital or otherwise), but often overlooked are the ‘internal’ data sources that can be scraped for Insight - these would be the transactional and operational systems supporting multiple marketing, sales, fulfillment, and service systems, in addition to the company’s own BI/reporting systems.  Ask any CMO and they will explain to you the widening gaps in data due to lack of integration and data governance.  Many companies struggle when answering how many customers they have, not to mention the difficulties in identifying those most profitable or the most loyal. Since the data opportunities inside the company have not been fully explored, diving into the external sources of Big Data without adequate forethought, can potentially not only add costs, but also complexity and confusion. In our engagement with customers, while ERP systems & POS data remain good inputs into a company’s Business Intelligence and reporting efforts, more and more we see executives asking for data from other sources to be able to develop ‘personalized’ offers and solutions, for example:

a. Machine usage data about performance and diagnostics using sensors (vehicle-to-smartphone connectivity devices for smarter driving from:,,, etc.)

b. Medical data from patients/public records and research studies (fitbit and wearable technologies, research findings, etc.)

c. Geographic and telemetric data from devices, maps, GPS signals, user tags and flags (Google maps, in-vehicle trackers, etc.)

d. Smartphone check-ins (four-square, etc.)

e. Social networks that capture trends (Twitter, etc.)

f. Content sites (Wikipedia, etc.)

3. Speed: The flow of data is something that can no longer go unnoticed - it is instant and constant.  According to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, “There were 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every 2 days, and the pace is increasing.”  It is clear that the rate of incoming data can quickly alter any trends captured off historical data and render meaningless any campaigns that don’t take into account real-time response tracking.   For example, without compute-intensive servers tied-into the large-scale infrastructure hosting Facebook posts, Twitter feeds, and Google searches it would be impossible to capitalize on fads, keep pace with up-to-the-minute news, understand critical events, and predict emerging trends [case in point: who knew that tracking the number of flu queries on Google can help predict localized outbreaks or that analyzing global weather patterns can help predict harvest outputs or crop failures]. The implications are huge for those who can robustly and quickly find data relationships: commonality, lineage, and correlation are going to be big differentiators.

4. Standards: Unlike organizational transactions designed to meet compliance standards for financial reporting, Big Data does not need to conform to any such rules or convention. The vast majority (some say as much as 90%) of data coming from uploads-social network chatter-comments-likes or tweets is neither structured, nor precise, not to mention anything about data reliability (accuracy). The sheer variety of posts representing wide-ranging interests/agendas across multiple sites/sources being repeated/re-circulated requires significant analytical prowess, speed, and talent to make intelligible.

5. Strategy: Big Data has the potential to help a company truly cross channels (understand personal profiles and preferences) and deliver world-class experiences to their customers; it can also help inform a company’s strategy by making sense of wide-spread data coming from public and private networks, internal and external systems, and individual and institutional sources.  How Big Data plays into a company’s success will depend on the priorities of its leadership - and their willingness to make data-driven decisions a reality, and turn Big Data into more than just a buzzword. Linked-In, for example, is analyzing vast quantities of data to generate billions of personalized recommendations every week – no small feat when looking through the silo and antiquated lens of yesterday’s IT landscape. According to Baseline, a 10% increase in data accessibility translates into an additional $65.7M in net income for a typical Fortune 1000 company.

Big Data challenges and considerations outlined above are further impacted by availability of skilled talent - people who understand data in all its forms and can help govern and master it.  Additionally, ethical and legal challenges further compound the problem since perspectives differ on what is personal, private, and sensitive information.  To be sure, none of these Big Data challenges are expected to get resolved anytime soon – all the more reason, therefore, for executives to be cognizant of the five Big Data considerations (size, sources, speed, standards, and strategy) as they chart new ground in their Big Data journey to unlock its value.

For additional details on the Insight program, please visit:

Murad Fatehali is a Senior Director with the Insight & Customer Strategy Team at Oracle Corporation; he focuses on helping Oracle customers solve Data Strategy & Integration challenges.

Friday Apr 18, 2014

Thank you for Joining us at Collaborate 2014

Thank you for attending Collaborate 2014! We had over  5500+ customers attend Collaborate 2014 last week.

Our EDQ and MDM customers were very interested in knowing what Oracle offers to help to reconcile them together. The presentation included our definitions related to Data Governance and Master Data Management – and their differences vs. similarities. Also discussed were the general definitions related to Data Management itself, as well as the multiple solution strategies and applications that Oracle offers in the MDM space.

There were sessions by Oracle PMs Bill Miller on overall MDM Footprint and Strategy, Sachin Patel on the various roads to PIM and Martin Boyd on the journey to Enterprise Governance and MDM starting with tactical EDQ projects. There were also sessions from partners including Kaygen and Hitachi as well as 3 different MDM SIG (Special Interest Groups) on Customer Hub, Product Hub and Data Quality managed as always by Mani Kumar Manda of Rhapsody Technologies. Many of the questions related to understanding how to plan for adding Data Governance processes – as well our MDM solutions to support them - into their respective organizations.

This probably represents an opportunity for many of our partner organizations to assist our customers with Business Process management related to Data Governance, using our MDM solutions as the foundational platform for enabling these efforts. Lots of great information sharing from customers and partners alike – and lots of only-in-Vegas fun too!

For more information please visit us at:

Friday Apr 11, 2014

Thank you for Joining us at Gartner Enterprise Information and Master Data Summit

Thank you for stopping by our Oracle Booth at Gartner and attending our session on Feet on the Ground, Head in the Cloud! We hope your time with Gartner and your fellow attendees was productive, fun and above all inspiring for the year to come.

Recognized as a leader in this year’s Gartner Magic Quadrant for MDM solutions, Oracle’s strategy is to make the full spectrum of deployment options available to our customers.  With a mixture of on-premise and cloud-based applications integrated together to deliver best-in-class customer experience, we have wrestled with these problems and created solutions that can be implemented today.   The decisions you make on how to design and deploy MDM will have a magnified impact as the data explosion continues to unfold.

Oracle MDM solutions are built on the same application engines that drive our enterprise software, with thousands of customers in deployment managing billions of records. We have out-of-the-box integrations to a number of Customer Experience applications, industry standard data feeds and even third party applications and data sources. Our MDM applications are specifically engineered to be part of a heterogeneous application and technology ecosystem. Our EDQ and MDM applications are specifically engineered to be part of a heterogeneous application and technology ecosystem. That’s critically important as the MDM footprint gets extended, and your need to operate across these different environments expands.

It’s an exciting time to be in the enterprise data management space. We would welcome the chance to discuss what we’re doing in more detail, and to share our experience and our recommendations for solving your most pressing data problems. 

For more information please visit us our MDM Solutions Factory at:

Sunday Apr 06, 2014

Join us at Collaborate 14 April 7th-11th at the Venetian in Las Vegas!

Join us at Collaborate 14 April 7th-11th at the Venetian in Las Vegas!

The word is out. There is ONE event that delivers the full spectrum of Oracle Applications and Technology education that you need to boost results all year long. Produced by three independent users groups, COLLABORATE14: Technology and Applications Forum for the Oracle Community delivers nearly 1,250 sessions and panels packed with first-hand experiences, case studies and practical “how-to” content.

Thousands of Oracle Applications users around the world connect through the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG). They know that OAUG involvement equips them to improve efficiency, enhance problem solving and spark innovation through opportunities for education, networking and influence. We will be delivering three Master Data Management and Data Governance sessions not to be missed!

Session Title: Oracle Master Data Management: Portfolio Overview, Strategy, and Roadmap

Session ID #: 15281

Date: 4/8/2014

Time: 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM PDT (local Las Vegas time)

Room: Level 1, Galileo – 1001

Companies today are being inundated with increasingly vast amounts of data. Tying it all together across various systems so that it can be better leveraged is a major challenge. As a result, Data Governance and Master Data Management (MDM) initiatives are major strategic initiatives that are actively being pursued within many organizations today to help solve for it. In this session, you will gain insight on not only what “MDM” is, but also the related people, processes and technology requirements needed to achieve it.

Session Title:  Oracle Fusion Product Hub - The Foundation for Your Enterprise Product Information

Session ID #:  15280

Date:  4/9/2014

Time:  02:00 PM - 03:00 PM PDT (local Las Vegas time)

Room:  Level 3, Murano - 3201

How much do you trust your product data to give you a competitive advantage and operational excellence in your enterprise? In today’s dynamic and competitive business environment, where faster product launches, cost efficiency, and regulatory compliance are a necessity, many enterprises struggle with achieving consistent, high-quality product data that provides significant business value. This session shows how to achieve a solid Product Information Managment Foundation with Oracle Fusion Product Hub.

Session Title: The Data Quality Journey: From Tactical Fixes to Enterprise Data Quality Governance

Session ID #: 15253

Date: 4/9/2014

Time: 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM PDT (local Las Vegas time)

Room: Level 1, Galileo 1001

Data quality projects take on many forms and grow through many stages. This session will look at some common data quality use cases, motivations and business benefits. It will also look at some best practices running from tactical implementations to more strategic enterprise-wide use for data quality governance, and will give an overview of Oracles strategic data quality solution, Oracle Enterprise Data Quality and highlight why it can be a good fit for any data quality program.

Attendees can add sessions to their personal schedule by accessing link below and get additional session details and information here :


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