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Big Data and BI

Posted by Anahita | Posted in Big Data, Business Intelligence | Posted on 05-10-2014

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The main and the most important characteristics of big data have been summarised i n the three Vs: Velocity, Volume and Variety. It is data in the volume that increases fast with variety of contexts, some of them not impossible to explore easily in the world of relational databases.

Business Intelligence is about providing data to business so that actionable insight can be achieved in timely manner. Considering the 3V nature of Big Data as explained above, it is crucial to ask the right questions, and find the correct way to collect, cleanse and make available for further discovery.

Apache Hadoop is an ecosystem in which distributed  commodity hardware combined with computational power of MapReduce and YARN, provide the essential ingredient for working with Big Data. MapReduce provides computational power for analysing unstructured data. It uses datasets with key-value pairs as both input and output.

Azure HDInsight is the service in the cloud that provides Hadoop framework, combining other Apache projects such as HDFS, MapReduce, Hive, Pig and Oozie.

The storage used by Azure HDInsight is Azure Blob storage.  The HDInsight clusters can be used when required and dropped after the computational tasks are completed. Blob storage can be used to keep the data after the HDInsight clusters are dropped. Blob storage has interface to HDFS file system. The Sqoop connectoors can be used ti import data from an Azure SQL database to HDFS or to export data from the HDFS to Azure SQL database.

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For Business Intelligence. Microsoft Power Query Excel provides ability to import data from Azure HDInsight or any HDFS into Excel. This will provide the enhancements for data discovery and blending by enabling access to a wider range of data sources.

Further to Excel Power Query, the Microsoft Hive  ODBC Driver can be used with other Microsoft  Business Intelligence products such as Excel, SSIS and SSRS to provide an integrated solution.