Big data management is a hot topic today, because big data delivers tremendous new value to the enterprise, across a wide variety of industries and verticals. Though the value of big data is now well accepted and understood, big data processing is still in its infancy. There is still a lot to learn; that's why I believe this handbook is so timely and useful. A big data practitioner will benefit from the complete and detailed descriptions and excellent explanations of various components and the tradeoffs of cost, design complexity, programming paradigm, and how it all fits together.
I have been associated with and worked at Oracle for a long time. Besides the excellent technology that Oracle produces, I continue to be amazed and impressed by Oracle's ability to repeatedly adapt to new trends and embrace new concepts and technologies to deliver compelling data management solutions to the market. This is perhaps the most important reason for Oracle's enduring success in the market. Perhaps, this is also the most important reason why anyone interested in big data should read this book. If you are a user of Oracle technologies, you'll learn about how to extend your Oracle investment to encompass big data processing. If you're not an Oracle user, you might discover important technologies and approaches to enhance your big data projects. In either case, you will benefit!
This book is about Oracle's big data offerings. As usual, Oracle has delivered a well thought-out, well integrated and comprehensive solution to the market and the authors have done a stellar job of describing Oracle's big data solutions. Processing big data involves several complementary technologies, each requiring different skills and expertise. This is partly reflected in the long list of authors for this book - no single person could have done justice to the topic of big data. EAch author has done a masterful job of describing the product or topic in his area of expertise and describing how these components relate to each other.
The book is an excellent resource for a very relevant, present day topic. Though big data encompasses a lot of complementary technologies, the authors have done a great job of organizind the material into the introductory section, followed by chapters that discuss the important technology components individually and in-depth, followed by a multi-chapter discussion of how to use these technologies to analyze data in various ways. The last section of the book covers important issues like privacy, security and big data governance. The book is organized so that it can be read from the beginning to end to get a complete and comprehensive understanding of Oracle's big data offerings; on the other hand, each chapter is relatively self-contained and can be read "standalone" if the reader chooses.
I liked the big data appliance chapter because it highlights the benefits of pre-built, tested, optimized and production-ready engineered systems for big data processing. In my opinion, big data processing is a complex topic along multiple dimensions including data processing expertise, server configuration and management, optimizing data flows and computation in a distributed environment. The big data appliance minimizes the headaches associated with building and maintaining servers, which can be a great help in getting a big data project up and running quickly and efficiently.
What sets big data processing apart from other kinds of processing is the variety, volume and velocity of data as well as the plethora of analytic techniques needed in order to derive valuable information. The book describes the various data management platforms available, as well as the different kinds of analyses that make up big data processing, including discovery analytics, text and data analytics, spatial analytics and graph analytics.
The book also outlines how one might go about using big data processing in an enterprise, starting with collecting data from diverse sources, doing "experiments" to understand how that data might be used, and then using those results to drive business decisions. Of course, this is an iterative process, where each iteration results in new understanding of the data.
Written by a team of experts, this book provides a comprehensive and complete guide to the big data practitioner. Definitely a must read for anyone serious about big data.