Feeling Overwhelmed About Your Data? You’re Not Alone

October 9, 2013
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ImageAs business owners, we are not technology or data geeks, but sometimes it feels like it would be beneficial to be one. Storing and analysing data, keeping track of software licenses and dealing with other technological hang ups can quickly leave the average businessperson feeling overwhelmed. Throw big data into the mix and the process becomes even more complex.

ImageAs business owners, we are not technology or data geeks, but sometimes it feels like it would be beneficial to be one. Storing and analysing data, keeping track of software licenses and dealing with other technological hang ups can quickly leave the average businessperson feeling overwhelmed. Throw big data into the mix and the process becomes even more complex. Luckily, we have not been left alone in this ordeal and have resources at our disposal designed specifically for people who are not data scientists. Specifically, cloud service providers can be a lifesaver when it comes to simplifying data storage and analysis.

Cloud Storage

Building up a reliable storage center is expensive and requires at least some level of expertise in that area, and small businesses are in short supply of both. Professional cloud storage, on the other hand, is highly affordable and offers a much more sophisticated option with no expertise required. Amazon’s SE storage service, for example, promises 99.9 percent monthly availability and even higher durability, meaning the service is rarely down, and there is an even smaller chance of data being lost. A small business could never hope to match that with their own resources.

Cloud Computing

Cloud resources are not limited to storage, however. It can also solve the majority of our computing needs. Depending on what your business’s needs are, cloud providers offer anything from the basic hardware to put your whole operating system on to ready-to-use applications. Big Data as a Service provides the tools to start collecting and analyzing big data without investing in Hadoop or learning how to code. Essentially, the cloud outsources your IT functions, so you no longer have to deal with setting systems up or making repairs. The cloud does all of this for you.

Scalability

A common problem business owners face is figuring out exactly how much data storage space to use. After all, we don’t want to run out of space during a critical time, but it is a waste of resources to have servers sitting empty. Luckily, cloud providers offer scalability. They offer horizontal scaling, which replaces a small computing resource with a bigger one when demand requires it, as well as vertical scaling, which adds additional instances with each meeting part of the demand. This means that we no longer have to worry about resource planning or leave servers sitting empty, as the cloud service can automatically scale up or down depending on what is needed at the time.

Before Getting Started

Before going out and signing up with a service provider, think strategically about what your business needs are. Providers will vary on the amount of security they offer and may not be able to scale as much as you need them to. If you are considering big data as a service, look into how much of system requires user interaction. If the service still requires your constant attention and monitoring, it can still become overwhelming. On the other hand, other services require little user interaction and take care of scaling automatically.

Bottom line: do your research, so you can get your data out of your hair and spend more time making strategic business decisions.