Track Chair Viewpoint: Gary Richardson

Continuing our series of interviews and viewpoints on Hadoop Summit Europe. This viewpoint is with Track Chair for Hadoop for Business Applications and Development, Gary Richardson, Data & Analytics Engineering Leader for TechSolutions at KPMG. You can register for Hadoop Summit here, and see the detailed schedule here.

Hadoop for Business Applications is an exciting track this year packed full of talks that should resonate with the end user developer community.  The architects and developers that deliver at the sharp end; implementing and selling Hadoop into their businesses.

We are at great point in the evolution of the platform and ecosystem as its matured over the last few years.  We are starting to see some mainstream adoption that is transforming how enterprises think about data management.  This was reflected in the over 130 submissions we received this year.  Three core themes emerged and will come through in the track

1)    Transformational business uses cases, the Hadoop platform has been applied to crack some tough business problems,  we have some great retail, banking and telco talks;

2)    Burgeoning ecosystem of tooling, Hadoop is hard, mainstream adoption is reliant on tooling that lowers the barrier to entry and brings the developer community onboard.  We have some great talks of how Hadoop can fit in an enterprise architecture broadening out Business Intelligence and Master Data Management solutions;

3)    Powering ahead with a great team, we can’t just focus on the technology we need to have the high performing team delivering on the promise, we are starting to recognise how we attract, retain and develop the talent, a real challenge for the enterprise.

We had some tough conversations on which talk would make the cut. I was lucky to have 3 great chaps helping me decide. Two world class enterprise data architects Andrew Morgan and Evan Smith combined over 50 years experience delivering data strategy, architectures and solutions in the enterprise. They provided the technical qualification. Nic Gordon, our board level chief data officer, Nic brought the business perspective, the reality of evangelising data solutions that solve real business problems to the C-suite who sign off on the funding.  It was a tough job especially over the holiday season but we got it done.

From my perspective 2014 heralds the move of Hadoop from the side of desk R&D projects into the enterprise mainstream.  Architecture and design authorities are starting to see the benefits of having Hadoop as part of the data operating system. Businesses are starting to open up budgets as they see Hadoop as way to outcompete and outperform their rivals.  I am hoping to see some fantastic business use cases that move us from the usual web scale properties use cases of Hadoop to the killer enterprise application that has the potential to transform an industry.

Finally, I am most interested in the Storm session if I have the chance to sneak into another track! Having deployed real time solutions in the past I have a keen interest in real time and the ability to do real time at scale opens up new world of possibilities for risk and performance management.

I am really looking forward to the conference, what could be better than spending two days in Amsterdam having loads of great conversations?