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Big Data and HANA, but first lets define what is Big Data!

Big Data and HANA, but first let me clarify what is Big Data!

In the past years, the term Big Data is frequently used in all sort of discussions, mostly from the Technical, functional, and, business teams.  This term is so commonly and frequently used during discussions across conference rooms. It is also freely mentioned in advertising, used in internal and external communications.

New technologies are presented as potential saviors, of this Big Data phenomenon and other issues that mostly all serious global companies are having to face.

The majority of business Executive Management, business Managers, Senior Information technology Executives, and consultants are dealing with this so commonly used term of “Big Data”, but not really knowing what it actually means.

Definition of Big Data

The first smart thing to do is to clarify what is “Big Data”, and then discuss about the way we can solve big data related issues, by using cool new technologies like SAP HANA.

Several authors recognized that the three main characteristics of Big Data are:

1)      Volume – Data Sets with large volume of data that exceed Terabytes, Petabytes, Exabyte or even Zettabytes. **

2)      Variety – Unstructured Data and / or structured data

3)      Velocity – Batch, real time or real-real time.

    ** for those who like details–

         1 Terabyte =1024 Gigabyte

         1 Petabytes= 1024 Terabytes

         1 Exabyte = 1024 Petabytes

         1 Zettabyte = 1024 Exabytes.

The issue to resolve the issue of Big Data is to know how to enable effective decision making and process automation in a cost effective way.

Honoring my Wharton Business School, indoctrinated way of thinking; I will make emphasis in the two most important factors that an effective Big Data strategy needs to solve in my opinion.


*Cost  = [ (Business Value) – (Cost to implement + Business Time& Suffering  costs to implement)]

The majority of businesses and corporations around the world are creating hundreds of thousands of gigabytes of transactional data that have turned into specific analytics of structured data.
Even though the increase of transactional volumes has been increasing, and they will continue to do, this will not be considered a Big Data issue.
The main reason, there is not variety of data, we are talking about variety in different data sources, and systems that process the transactional data generated, but at the end there is no variety of data.
For analytical issues, Software companies across the world have invested billions of dollars to solve this issue, and companies across the world have done a very good job at being on top of it.
We can use products like IBM-Cognos, SAP-Business Objects just to mention some of them that are available in the market today, and bringing the right presentation layers according to the business needs.
The issue, of Big Data appears when business corporations need to start including their clients, vendors, and competitors, thoughts, reactions, motives into the business decision models.
Today these clients, more and more are reflecting informally and formally their motivations, likes, supports, interests and so on in private or public Social Media tools, that most likely combine unstructured data, and structured data, and that variation in the traditional equation, is what makes  the Big-Data concept relevant in today business environment.
Other Corporations, due to new technologies are able to measure and track business tools, and items, closely in a way that that millions of units that can be tracked on daily, hourly  and even in minute by minute basis, providing relevant information to business models, that  can understand behaviors of millions of users on real time.
The closer you are to the data generated, the closer you are to be in the Lead,  and then the closer you are to succeed.
In today’s business environment, that is the difference between,   a business success story or a business boring out of the ordinary failure story.

The BIG DATA and SAP HANA story, a marriage made in Heaven.

SAP HANA, has the unique ability to combine structured and unstructured data processing and transformation, in the same spot.
On top of that, HANA present a very strong proposal of real-real time replications, of source data reduces the lead time to identify and complete data loads in the data sources.
The integration of SAP, and non-sap systems, with Social Media data sources, or other data sources position this tool, very strong to be an effective tool to help in the resolution of Big-Data issues that your Corporation or clients are facing.
In my next blog, I will explain to you some methods to approach the analysis of unstructured data and, how cost effectively the combination of different technologies like HADOOP and SAP HANA can make your life easier, without breaking the bank.


** Legal Disclaimer :My opinions reflected in this article, are totally independent and not related to my current employer opinions.

1 Comment
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  • Guillermo,

    I read this and your other blog posting and cannot help to say that both are filled with buzzword common place statements and marketing slang up to the rim.

    How is it new and specific to HANA that “business corporations need to start including their clients, vendors, and competitors, thoughts, reactions, motives into the business decision models.“?

    What is the math behind such “detail lover”-details like

    1 Petabytes=-1024 Terabytes

    (really? PB are made of negative TB?)

    It’s sure great to have been educated at Wharton, and surely everybody can agree on


    But why don’t you show us examples in how a HANA based system you know improves any or both of the two?

    Seriously, it would have been much better if you had simply brought out some real-life examples from your vast (according to your other post) experience with HANA implementations. I, for example, would be extremely interested which implementation partners you consider inexperienced and which are the ones to get on board.

    Nope, this is not the level of blog quality I’d be interested to read.

    – Lars