Interest in Hadoop continues to increase as business recognize the benefits it brings to their organizations and their big data analytics practices. Recent numbers bear this out as well.
According to a recent survey from TDWI, overall Hadoop adoption by enterprises is on the rise, with 60 percent of respondents planning on having Hadoop clusters in production by the first quarter of 2016.
That’s already an increase of 16 percent from the previous year. Fewer enterprises are ruling out the possibility of using Hadoop as well. With so many businesses open to embracing the Hadoop trend, the question then becomes how best to implement the analytics tool into the organization.
While there’s no single answer that works best for all businesses, the following are essential steps you’ll want to consider when implementing Hadoop for your business.
1. Have Business and Technical Requirements in Mind
Hadoop adoption should not be done on a whim. Instead, it should happen based upon the business and technical requirements for your organization. There’s no denying that Hadoop brings lots of benefits -- from leveraging big data to extending legacy data management platforms—but your business requirements should match up with these benefits. If they do not than Hadoop adoption will lack direction and will ultimately be a waste.
2. Prepare to Be Agile
Starting with Hadoop can be confusing, but not if you have a specific use case in mind. That use case should also come with a specific data set. However, to truly leverage big data with Hadoop, you’ll need to be prepared to shift your thinking and strategy as you grow to understand your data even more.
Choose to go for quick solutions that address the needs your business is currently having, but be prepared to evolve as those needs change or the data reveals something you hadn’t considered before. As noted in the Qubole SlideShare below, big data projects are different from a typical IT initiative and must constantly be evolving to prove successful.
3. Go Small At First
Hadoop is not always an easy tool to utilize. While you may have grand ideas for how you’ll use it in the future, it’s important that you start off with just the basics. Begin by identifying very specific opportunities that also provide big value for your organization. By handling smaller tasks, you’ll get the hang of Hadoop and be able to move on to larger concepts. At the same time, always keep the big picture in mind so those smaller tasks move you toward a larger goal.
4. Think Beyond Normal Use Cases
Most Hadoop cases associated with Hadoop deal with business intelligence and data warehousing. While Hadoop can obviously provide results, its potential extends far beyond that. The analytics tool has numerous attributes like scalability and lower costs that make it effective for other use cases, like archiving, document management, and records management. Don’t get trapped in one mindset when thinking about what Hadoop can do.
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5. Don’t Forget Existing Frameworks
Before Hadoop came along, you were likely using other software platforms and frameworks like Spring and Jax-RS. Leveraging these existing frameworks can make your work with Hadoop even easier, effectively enabling a smoother transition from one platform to the next. Workers at your organization will also already have skills with these frameworks, so leveraging those skills for Hadoop can make their move from Camel to Hadoop that much easier.
6. Get Training or New People
Workers at your organization will hopefully be eager to use Hadoop, but they won’t necessarily have the skills to do so at first. That’s why you should provide training for your staff so they are prepared to utilize the analytics tool. The same TDWI survey found that most businesses are going this route, with 73 percent training their current employees to do it. Another option is to simply hire new people -- data specialist who have specific skills in managing big data platforms like Hadoop.
With so much to offer through big data analysis, Hadoop is growing in popularity among companies. Even if you’re unsure how to use Hadoop, many big data vendors offer services designed to make big data solutions a reality for your business. As you grow familiar with Hadoop, you’ll be better positioned to discover fascinating new insights from big data, turning your company into an agile and responsive organization, ready to seize on success through new technologies.