Our colleagues at WhereScape have been making significant investments integrating our automation software WhereScape RED with big data platforms. There has been a lot of interest from customers who recognise the value that automation can bring to these powerful yet complex solutions.
We have recently implemented a financial forecasting solution at an enterprise customer to prove the value of big data technology within the organisation. The solution, developed in partnership between NOW and the customer, delivered multiple benefits:
- Delivered a high value forecasting model to the business
- Used big data technology to deliver a model where traditional relational technology failed
- Proved the value of big data technology within the organisation
- Highlighted the potential of big data technologies to solve new and interesting problems
The customer needed to generate an accurate set of key performance indicators each month. The process required large daily volumes (approx. 20 million rows per day) of customer and detailed product revenue data. Because of storage and processing limitations, data was only available for the current month which impacted the forecast accuracy.
To solve the storage and processing problem the customer decided to implement a Cloudera Hadoop big data platform to store full historical datasets, along with the WhereScape RED for Big Data Adaptor to enable data lake automation. The completed solution delivered the following functionality:
- An automated process to extract large volumes of daily transactions from source each day and save them to the Cloudera platform using Hive
- Based on the extracted data, a forecast model was built in Hive and SQL Server. This model was built using WhereScape RED via rapid, iterative development cycle
- Once the forecast numbers were prepared, an automated process saved the forecast as an incremental snapshot in Hive and refreshed Cloudera Impala for interactive querying via Tableau
Some of the key features / benefits of using WhereScape RED for Big Data are:
- Ability to transfer large amounts of data from source system in to Hive seamlessly
- Common metadata across the Extended Data Warehouse environment (Hive, SQL etc)
- Consistent tools for developers
- Easily generate DDL and ELT SQL for Hive with data movement using Sqoop
- Centralised audit and error logging
- Integrated documentation across the full environment (i.e. SQL Server and Hive)
- Automated and integrated scheduling and workflow engine across the full environment
The project sponsors (both Business and IT) were impressed with how easily and quickly WhereScape RED could deliver a solution to solve their big data problem. Now that data is easily accessible for several months, business stakeholders are excited about their ability to easily generate accurate forecasts in less than 60 minutes as opposed to several days. Financial analysts can also query the big data platform directly via Tableau to rapidly gain insight, without the need to wait for data to be transferred to a relational data warehouse and enterprise reporting suite.
IT have learned that the WhereScape Big Data Adaptor and Cloudera Big Data platform can be used to solve complex and valuable business problems. It was also proved that big data technologies from WhereScape and Cloudera are functional and robust, and means that that projects previously deemed impossible can be looked at again.
To build this solution, following technologies were used:
- SQL Server
- WhereScape RED
- WhereScape RED Big Data Adaptor
- Cloudera Big Data Platform
About WhereScape RED for Big Data
WhereScape RED is data warehouse and big data automation software for building, deploying and renovating your analytic solutions whatever the size of your data. WhereScape RED sets the standard for delivery speed using familiar industry standards, frameworks and best practices to dramatically accelerate time to value.
WhereScape RED customers are able to fully manage their Apache Hive™ big data environments through the WhereScape RED data automation platform. This centralises development of the entire decision support infrastructure into one integrated platform and toolset.
There is no need to license separate ETL, data integration, or data modelling tools because WhereScape RED supports industry standard SQL. Customers can leverage their existing resources and training rather than having to rely on tool or platform-specific expertise.