Volume, Velocity and Variety – the 3 Vs – have traditionally been the key factors that determine how successfully Big Data is handled. WTI’s Technical Lead for Defense Programs, Phil Yoon, views these as “mostly a solved problem for most applications these days thanks to amazing work done by the open-source communities and Web 2.0/3.0” initiatives, but finds the biggest challenge in Big Data now lies in its application – more specifically, analytics and workflows.
“WTI helps bridge that gap,” says Phil, pointing to the expertise of WTI’s chief Big Data Scientist Shin Chin, who discusses the common challenges that Big Data customers have in finding the right technology for their big data needs – balancing cost effectiveness, functionality, and compatibility with the current technology infrastructure.
WTI’s President Cindy Ford stresses a fourth V – Value – as perhaps the most important consideration in determining the best technical approach for handling Big Data. Ford describes why extracting value from Big Data is so imperative: “We serve the defense and intelligence communities that support the warfighter and ensure the security of our nation, and help civilian agencies in their public service missions.”
To transform Big Data into actionable information, Shin stresses how essential it is to have across-the-board expertise and real-world knowledge of the full spectrum of Big Data-related technologies which he breaks into seven primary categories:
- Big Data coding which includes the programming languages and tools by data scientists to perform analytics on large data sets such as object oriented and functional programming languages.
- Big Data mathematics and statistics, which form the theoretical underpinnings of big data, machine learning algorithms.
- Machine learning and software algorithms and techniques which require mastery in order to perform analytics.
- Data processing applications which range from Hadoop to alternatives such as Storm, Spark, BashReduce, Disco Project, GraphLab, HPCC Systems, Sector/Sphere and associated access and search projects.
- Databases – such as NoSQL, which can effectively deal with unstructured data.
- Data analysis software – such as R, Matlab/Octave, Python, SPSS, and Stata, which enables information to be effectively extracted.
- Visualization software – such as Tableau, Spotfire, Qlikview, Prism, inZite, Birst, and SAP Business Objects, which allows effective reporting and communication of results.
The experience and expertise of WTI spans across all of these functional areas, allowing WTI to be technology-agnostic and effectively tailor Big Data solutions.
WTI’s public sector clientele use Big Data technologies to exploit the growth of data and gain new insights to include:
- Enhancing security and fraud prevention – Using big-data analysis, security experts track patterns and discover unknown threats in real time, incident response teams monitor known threats, and law enforcement agents correlate historical data to help prevent future cases of fraud.
- Service delivery improvements and emergency response – Big-data technologies enable real-time analysis to help government agencies to be more productive and conserve costs, are used to monitor complex transportation systems, and help refine Federal disaster response and information-collecting mechanisms by improving the way people funnel their communications.
- Leveraging open data – In compliance with Federal mandates, Big Data generated by government agencies is being analysed by government and public sector stakeholders for a variety of security, health, energy, education, public safety, finance, and global development initiatives.
To position WTI for continued growth and continue to provide top-notch performance-based service delivery, WTI actively manages all of WTI’s business operations through adherence to industry- standard CMMI® (Capability Maturity Model® Integration) processes and procedures and has achieved an appraisal maturity level rating of CMMI-SVC Level 2 and CMMI-DEV Level 3.
Says Cindy, “WTI’s commitment to CMMI reflects dedication to institutionalizing best practices and our commitment to quality service delivery, efficiency, continuous improvement, and customer satisfaction as our company continues to grow.” WTI can be found online at www.wti-solutions.com.