3.3 New Technologies, Will the ‘The Cloud’ Rain on Big Data?
To me ‘Big Data’ has never been transformational, more business logic aspirational, fulfilling the following basic concepts:
- Take existing data sets residing in previously disparate databases and make them available across the business to better understand the information that ought to have been available.
- Provide analytical tools to the data in order to provide better decision making capabilities through the relative association of trends, patterns, and their interactions, and/or lack of interactions.
This to me makes perfect business sense. Make existing information work more efficiently.
‘Big Data’ reflects the better organisational and therefore operational use of content in all its various formats, for instance, by source (internal and external) and by type (structured, semi structured and unstructured). But it still needs to get from the source to the user who then extracts the value through access to a wider range of content and data.
In contrast, ‘The Cloud’ is about how the process of how information and therefore market data interacts on an infrastructure level. This is the transformational properties ‘The Cloud’ brings, especially for market data in terms of reaching clients and being able to source away from intermediates.
- It fundamentally relocates the existing linear progressional flow of data to a multi-dimensional universe.
- It does this by shifting where data resides and can be accessed from.
- Given a secure environment it allows databases, analytics, tools, services, and sources to reside together securely, not necessarily internally, but in secure ‘Private Clouds’.
- It allows multiple sources, tools, and users to come together in a common environment.
- It enables multiple sources, and analytics providers to plug their products directly into the clients without going through the process of resource consuming technical infrastructure establishment.
- This greatly expands choice and efficiency.
- It promises to offer more opportunity, more cost effectively.
- This promises to deliver a greater ‘bang for the buck’ as pre-cloud era tasks that were once expensive and technically challenging, therefore limited to a few large organisations, become democratised.
If we look back to an earlier article 1.2 Open Skies: New Technology Horizons, we can apply and develop the graphics and look at where the Cloud comes from in the market data context.
Stage 1 In the beginning. There is a simple delivery flow from the source through to the end user, and there is little functionality beyond price discovery.
Stage 2 Now. Evolution. The relationship flow remains somewhat unchanged, there is a linear progression, but there is a greater level of functionality as well as enterprise usage and dissemination.
Stage 3 Future. Revolution. Linear progression has gone, to be replaced by multi-dimensional relationships working within common but discreet environments.
‘The Cloud’ is the co-location of enablement, sources, applications, and analytics.
Perhaps this is highly simplistic, but what does the Cloud actually offer the market data consumer that is different?
While storage, co-location and access are at the heart of ‘The Cloud’, it brings transformational effects. For instance:
- For the market data consumer, it moves technology from management to usage. It removes internal management to external management where the outputs from the service now becomes the primary purpose. In a market data context, it becomes all about the data and information.
- In this environment, infrastructure becomes outsourced, consumers can focus on information not infrastructure.
- It allows greater inter-relationships with other applications and usage, creating value in the analytics.
- Tools become available upon demand.
- The ability to share increases flexibility.
- It removes the prison of being locked into market data services defined by their technology rather than its intrinsic value to the business. Once legacy systems are in place, the associated market data becomes very hard to displace.
- Simultaneously, it opens up choice, as new entrants find it easier to offer their services precisely because the consumers become freer from the constraints of their own internal legacy market data systems.
In the market data space, ‘The Cloud’ becomes an enabler of ‘Big Data’ and provides a great deal more as well.