7 Databases in 7 Weeks – a valuable book

Posted by on May 17, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off

7 Databases in 7 Weeks – a valuable book

The “Big Data” meme has been gathering steam for some years now, with its increasingly curious twists and turns.

I spent some time with O2 UK promoting various “Big Data” themes within their technical and product teams, including some hands-on product experiments using MongoDB, one of the so-called NoSQL, or document-store, databases.

Using “lean start-up” techniques, modified for a big corp, I led a project to develop a cloud-storage product, called #Blue (see hashblue.com), that could store all of a user’s sent and received text messages in real-time (and also expose them via an API, which was a core part of the experiment). Please watch a video showing how we did it.

Of course, “Big Data” is a much bigger gig than storing data. It’s all about the processing and the ability to extract value-added meaning for users, both external (O2 customers) and internal (business stakeholders).

A common reaction from the CRM-folk was that they already “did Big Data” with their data warehouse projects and so on. Of course, this is true, although we rapidly get lost in semantics if we’re not careful. An overriding feature of the “Big Data” meme in the realm of start-ups, Web ventures and open source software, is how accessible and cost-effective the technology has become, thereby enabling (and causing) various disruptions to bigger businesses.

My intention with O2, and other carriers I’ve consulted for, has always been to search for ways in which they can utilise rapidly-moving Web technologies, paradigms and patterns. I believe that I’ve had a large degree of success, which I will cover in ongoing posts on this blog.

Indeed, O2 now uses “NoSQL” technologies to supplement their CRM and general data-processing needs, and – more importantly – created various initiatives to build new business ventures based on extracting new information from deep within their tremendous data flows and stores, many of which are like untapped oil streams packed with latent value.

My latest book – please see Connected Services – is a “tour guide” for carriers interested in educating themselves in modern Web methods and paradigms, both technological and economical. It contains a detailed discussion of “Big Data,” within the context of the carrier landscape. Thanks to those many who have already read it and given me valuable and encouraging feedback.

For those who want to go a level deeper into the new database technologies that drive various aspects of the “Big Data” trend, I recommend reading Seven Databases in Seven Weeks from Pragmmatic Programmers. It offers a more technical in-depth tour, one level below my explanation of the various underpinning paradigms, covering:┬áRedis, Neo4J, CouchDB, MongoDB, HBase, Riak, and Postgres.

What I like about the book is that it describes the core technologies and how they differ, plus it takes practical examples to explore the applications in more depth. For those readers of Connected Services, wanting to explore the next level of “Big Data” technologies, I thoroughly recommend reading the book.

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