Taking a Seat at the Big Data Table

Today EMC made a concerted effort to lay down the “table stakes” at the Big Data table, quietly demanding respect for their bid as an anchor player in the future of Big Data. At the start of day on the tech heavy west coast, word rang out of the EMC announcement in the industry press channels. Today, EMC announced their answer to expanding collaboration between data scientists, and the acquisition of the world-class development house of Pivotal Labs.  In a world inundated by an almost endless amount of corporate-generated press releases, this was noteworthy through the noise.

 Why?  Let me give you a few points to consider. Ok first, have you ever had a need to execute a mental task or two on your computer only to find that your virus scanner was running, or the company is installing something behind the scenes and you are relegated into feeling like you are living in the Slow-mo footage at ESPN? You wait seconds if not minutes everything slows down and somewhere in the process you realize you have forgotten EVERYTHING you were doing and your creative energy is all but drained from your person. You might as well just do email now…

Well I tell you this loss is pervasive in our IT world, often we lose the ability to execute on our most brilliant ideas because of timing, multi-tasking churn, and the inability to effectively execute on collaborative activities, all before the constant rush of information again flows over our levees’ and we’re buried in the next rush of content. Like waves at the beach we only have so long between the intervaled poundings to make real progress.  So if we imagine this to be true of the basics of our business lives, now imagine the pace of predictive and/or low-latency analytics where the provisioning, processing, analysis, decision and actions have to happen in a day, or an hour, or a second, or a micro-second.  We’ve got to get better at our ability to process in the cycle-times we have. Of course to address micro-second requirements will require machine based processes, but there is an immense opportunity to refine our cycles that fall in the realm of human processing.

One of the most critical tools of human invention is timely collaboration. Humans make better decisions faster when they can leverage readily available tools, data and peers. Imagine the perfect world where you can get data when you need it, you can get advice when you ask for it, you can push a result to another for review without technical limitations, and you didn’t even have look at an email to do it.  This is the big step EMC made today by announcing “Greenplum Chorus”.


Greenplum Chorus is a collaborative environment that allows the users (data scientists) to self-provision space, capture, transpose, assess, and share chunks of data without approvals, requests, or IT intervention.  We’ve seen how impactful social tools like Twitter or Yelp have been. The ability to connect, share and discover has profoundly changed the world, and now we have a similar social lever to use in the advancement of data analytics.  Chorus will additionally be a landing zone for an eco-system of 3rd party offerings allowing for freedom to advance the evolving strategies of its user community.


WOW, if that wasn’t enough to talk about.  The acquisition of Pivotal Labs is the laser sharpened sword hidden in a gentleman’s cane.  These guys are extremely competent, experienced, and pedigreed. If you were look at their customer and collaborative projects list, it’s the who’s-who of this IT age. Technically Pivotal Labs brings to the equation, their focus on agile development tools and an invaluable resume of cloud, analytics and mobile success stories.  In addition, Pivotal Tracker is an industry leading agile development platform with hundreds of thousands of active developers currently using the platform. Akin to SAP’s purchase of Business Objects, this provides EMC with not only great technology, but an existing eco-system to embolden the go-forward plan.


Easy as 1-2-3

EMC Greenplum is known for their high performance data driven solutions which are cloud ready. Now you add a collaborative platform that engages the users in socially empowered self-service model, and an integration platform to pull the story together and you can see an impact player in the making.