Old but Not Obsolete

The BIGIT Technology Show Malaysia 2015, one of largest Enterprise Technology show in Malaysia, was covered by our IJs. With Big Data being a hot topic in the market these days, it comes as no surprise that Big Data was big even at the tech show. Read on to know the how, why and what of it!
IJ Pascal Lum
Published on: 14th October 2015
Data, isn't that the name of the Android Cyborg in Star Trek Generations, and I wonder where is this conference heading to. It is 2 concurrent conferences in one BIGIT 2015 Kuala Lumpur - 3rd Big Data Show and 1st IoT (Internet of Things) Show. Do these both areas have something in common? I was inspired to find out and “to boldly go where no man has gone before”. Let the time travelling journey begin!

Before I begin, let me go back in timeline: Back in 1984, when I first started database programming with Dbase 2.0 on CPM OS, there was power to manipulate data. In 1989, I was introduce to PICK OS a multi relational database with a revolutionary db design that includes the OS that can manage data in multi levels with simple English line commands but report presentation was another matter. Eventually in 1995, Crystal Reporting was my de facto tool to present data in Windows environment and management was amazed with features like conditional formatting, groupings and interactive drill downs. SQL already made its debut in numerous forms and flavours like Oracle, Microsoft SQL, DB2, MySQL and etc but Crystal Reports just integrate seamlessly with existence of data connectors such as ODBC, or native ones.
Old but Not Obsolete
Time stood still in data presentation even with early years of Business Intelligence concepts like OLAP in the new millennia, because it was difficult to implement. Massaging data was slow and restrictive, where alternatively MS Excel could do the pivot table and chart so well and economically but just setting it up and modifying it requires some technical expertise. Crystal Reports concept was unreplaceable although numerous alternatives are available and with certification as an ACE (Authorised Crystal Engineer) in hand, I can evangelise it more even till year 2005 and beyond, I was the primary expert in a large Fortune 500 projects. Crystal Reports thrive with simplicity and diverse platform. Business Intelligence like Cognos, Business Objects (who acquired Crystal Reports and now Oracle acquired BO) etc. made some in-roads even Sharepoint Collaborative Reporting but massaging larger and larger volume of data was becoming daunting.

Soon enough nowadays, database processing power was no longer an issue but storage and access to large data repository is becoming nightmare especially what some term as “Dark Data” (presented by Informatica Booth). In early years, web interconnectivity was also an issue until standards like XML and SOAPor WSDL started to surface. The rest of the story has been unveil in .Net Framework, Mean Stack, etc. etc.

This is not a history lesson but I am sure you learned in history or in some movies the famous quote “history repeats itself”. It’s tools, tools and new toys … typo? Maybe not! I meet a lady delegate who was sharing with me how she seriously considering some form of Big Data, IoT or some solution because she represents one of the 2 Top Global Cola companies and understanding the purchasing behaviour of the Y & Z generation is utmost crucial to theircompetitive survival. She did mention that she was impressed with the Tableau solution but is that the solution for her industry, she is not sure yet.

Tableau is being demonstrated as an easy to use (even the presenter kids used it for their school projects, it seems) and implement multi facet and multi relational with multi features, which sounds like a great arrangement tool “Tableau”, and I am not doing justice to how the presenter, Vaidy Krishnan, Head, Product Marketing, Asia Pacific, Tableau, Singapore would say it. He demonstrated a desktop with terra rows of record processing and internet based solution. Only way to validate his claims is to download a FULL feature 15-days trial and find out.

That again is just another toy… I meant tool, the next step to configure with the expert knowledge is still a human factor as presented by Mr Ng Kwang Ming of Mimos, Malaysia initiatives for a few local establishments, Thus, until there is universal machine learning methodology is possible it will be an uphill challenge.
My take: Why the whole Big Data with IoT solution is like still not mature yet… what is missing here? I am still not extremely inspired yet. Is it the software, processing power or issues with collaboration between data owners? Hard questions -I don’t think there is one single answer yet. Some implementations were showcased like Smart Cities like Glasgow (presenter John K Davies, UK), and Milton Keynes Central (presented by Rick Jones, BT) but it only seems like the tip of the iceberg or instead WYSIWYG! Confusing?

Perhaps, the movie Terminator Genisys 2015 gives us another school of thought: Genisys seems like realisation of the dream of Big Data, IoT and perhaps AI too where all device is connected and collaborate on one infrastructure. I guess it may only be possible that AI be born from it …perhaps in October 2017, countdown is 2 more years? After that we can consider time travel. For now, it is what we do here that matters, not looking too far to the future. Be inspired because the journey is still on, just need your first steps! In the movie, Sarah Connor (more like the Heroin of the movie not John Connor) learnt this from her father and pass it on “Just keep going straight and DON’T look back!”, and not forgetting the T-800 quote (title of this write-up) and ...

Live Long & Prosper!
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