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Filling in Big Data’s Missing Link: Making Big Data Pay for Itself

Here’s what I mean: Today, everything is measurable, and everything is measured

Say hello to Bashes — the first cloud-apps that enable companies to turn Big Data into new sources of revenue

I don’t want to sound overly dramatic, but today’s the day GoodData makes it possible for companies to finally monetize Big Data. That’s because today we unveil our first Bashes — cloud-based business mashups — on our platform that enable anyone, in any size business, to turn mountains of disparate data into insight that finds new sources of revenue, boosts profit and builds a competitive edge.

We call these new solutions Bashes because they combine the best elements of consumer apps with modern, enterprise-class technologies. That means consumer apps’ clean and intuitive user interface, ease of use and device independence, with cloud-based business technologies that collect and manage structured and unstructured data from hundreds of sources. With Bashes, businesses can discern meaning from all the data flooding in from emails, social media, enterprise software and cloud apps.

I firmly believe this is revolutionary. Bashes not only change the economics of the Big Data market, they also deliver on the promise that companies have struggled to fulfill for years.

Here’s what I mean: Today, everything is measurable, and everything is measured. As a result, Big Data is becoming big business. Market research firm IDC predicts the market for Big Data technology and services will reach $16.9 billion by 2015, from $3.2 billion in 2010, but much of this spending will focus on infrastructure — the plumbing that enables companies to download, collect and store vast amounts of structured and unstructured data. It’s as if companies are collecting data for a rainy day, with the hope that someone, somewhere, will help them figure out how to make money from all that data now that they have it.

In the immortal words of Yogi Berra, it’s like déjà vu all over again. After all, it’s why SAP paid $6.78 billion for Business Objects, Oracle acquired Hyperion Solutions for $3.3 billion and IBM spent $4.9 billion to buy Cognos — all makers of business intelligence infrastructure software designed to help IT and business analysts cull insight from data. It never worked as promised, primarily because of the expense, IT heavy lifting and technical expertise these infrastructure tools require.

Now, thanks to the cloud, everything has changed. Finally, we have the technology to pull in data from hundreds of sources — no matter if it’s social media, email, cloud-based apps, suppliers’ enterprise software or internal applications. At GoodData, we’re leveraging the cloud to offer pre-built apps for different functions — such as sales, marketing and customer engagement — and have created a platform that enables any company to add new apps for their specific needs.

Notice I said these are apps. That’s a key distinction because it allows each Bash to automatically present thought leadership by business function, with best practices that make it easy for business people to determine what really matters. Now contrast that to BI infrastructure tools from Oracle and others, where IT departments have spent years and millions of dollars trying to integrate products that were never meant to work together. Does that sound like a good use of time to you?

And because it’s the cloud, our apps and our platform are democratic. You don’t have to work in a large company, blow your budget or need a Ph.D. in computer science to recognize what all that data is telling you and make smart decisions, faster.

So when I say this is revolutionary, I mean it — literally. With our apps and our platform, we’re democratizing both data and business insight — so that any business person, in any company, on any device can turn Big Data into a competitive advantage. That’s power to the people, and I say let the revolution begin.

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Roman Stanek is a technology visionary who has spent the past fifteen years building world-class technology companies. Currently Founder & CEO of Good Data, which provides collaborative analytics on demand, he previously co-founded first NetBeans, now a part of Sun Microsystems and one of the leading Java IDEs, and then and Systinet, now owned by Hewlett-Packard and the leading SOA Governance platform on the market.

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