Choosing an Analytical Cloud Data Platform [Webinar Recap]
Last week, ChaosSearch CTO & Head Scientist Thomas Hazel joined forces with Doug Henschen, VP & Principal Analyst of Constellation Research, to deliver a live webinar on “Choosing an Analytical Cloud Data Platform: Trends, Strategies, and Tech Considerations.”
In this blog, we’re highlighting the deepest insights, the best advice, and the most actionable recommendations that emerged from the discussion.
To get all the insights and learn exactly how to choose an analytical cloud data platform, watch the full webinar on demand:
Meet the Presenters
Our host, Lisa Hackbarth, is the Senior Marketing Campaign Manager at ChaosSearch.
Doug Henschen is the VP & Principal Analyst of Constellation Research, a boutique research and advisory firm based in Silicon Valley. Henschen’s research focuses on data-driven decision-making and examining how organizations use data analysis to reimagine business models and better understand customers.
Thomas Hazel is founder and Chief Technology and Science Officer of ChaosSearch. He has led successful ventures in communication, visualization, and database technologies, and holds patents in visualization, distributed algorithms, and database science.
Thomas and Doug cover four major topics during this event:
- The Evolution of Analytical Data Platforms - Thomas and Doug describe how analytical data platforms have changed and evolved over the past two decades, from the early MPP and columnar platforms to Hadoop and distributed NoSQL platforms, and finally into cloud-based analytics platforms.
- Importance to Buyers and Organizational Challenges - Doug highlights data analytics use cases from across industries, as well as key organizational considerations for adopting a data analytics platform. Thomas talks us through key organizational challenges, such as scaling infrastructure, eliminating silos, converging workloads, and driving insights.
- The Selection Process - Doug explains how businesses should select an analytical cloud data platform, from organizational and strategic considerations to comparing product attributes, creating a short list, and talking to reference customers. Thomas digs into the ChaosSearch cloud data platform and the value of running Search, SQL, and ML workloads on a single, unified data lake.
- Recommendations - Thomas and Doug give their final recommendations for organizations looking to adopt a cloud data platform.
Here’s some of what they had to say.
1. The Evolution of Analytical Cloud Data Platforms
Doug provides a look at the evolution of analytical cloud data platforms over the past two decades. He shares a definition for High-Scale Analytical Data Platforms then explains how these platforms evolved between 2005 and today.
“Now we’re in this latest period, 2020-2025, we’ve seen the cloud movement really gathering steam, particularly with the pandemic, and we’ve seen the evolution of some of those platforms, the warehouses, and the data lakes embracing object storage underneath the hood as this lower-cost, simpler way of managing all that information.” -- Doug Henschen
Next, Thomas explains the trajectory of big data over the past 25 years, touching on exponential global data growth, the changing role of big data in business, and how data analytics platforms are powering the convergence of operational and business analytics.
“Business agility is driving all the back-end - whether it’s IT, operational infrastructure, or security - all things that matter. What I’ve seen is that both the operational and business are having a convergence because both sides matter, both are hard to scale, and data analytical platforms seem to be the trend and the answer.” -- Thomas Hazel
2. Top Considerations for Corporate Buyers and Organizational Challenges
Doug kicks off the second part of this webinar by highlighting some common use cases for analytical cloud data platforms, focusing on the top one: customer understanding.
“For these analytical data platforms, the #1 use is really customer understanding, customer 360, understanding not only the conventional transactions of old, but also now their online and mobile behavior, customer churn, next best action, up-sell, cross-sell, all of these things are reason #1 that companies are embracing these analytical platforms.” -- Doug Henschen
He mentions additional use cases for cloud data platforms across multiple industries, then shares the top organizational considerations when adopting one:
- C-Suite support
- Ambition level
- Existing technology
Next, Thomas dives into current analytics challenges for businesses, highlighting the pain that organizations feel when scaling their infrastructure to analyze big data.
“Everything matters in trying to derive value out of data. Scaling infrastructure and then ultimately deriving that value. And we want it to be minutes, hours, maybe a day. But in reality, to do any type of product or BI-type change, or scaling your back-end, are really weeks, if not months. This has led to these platforms that help drive every aspect of data needs within an organization, both on the operational side and the business intelligence side.” -- Thomas Hazel
Thomas goes on to identify and describe two emerging trends: cloud data platforms supplanting siloed analytics, and convergence towards a unified cloud data platform.
3. How to Select an Analytical Cloud Data Platform for your Business
Next, Doug takes a deep dive into the selection process. His layered approach factors in organizational and technological strategy, as well as product attributes, to create a short list of potential solutions for your business.
“Once you’ve gotten to a short list, I absolutely encourage you to talk to customers of those analytical data platforms. Ideally, they’ll have similar challenges and similar scale - they don’t necessarily have to be in the same industry. You want to talk to them about the skills that were required, the deployment, the footprint that they had, challenges along the way. You want to talk to them about the vendor - that’s a crucial part of it too.” -- Doug Henschen
Thomas explains how the growth of big data and the drive for convergence of operational and business analytics workloads inspired the development of ChaosSearch.
He tells us why it was important to deliver an analytical cloud data platform with true multi-model data access:
“We believe that you need one solution to both provide that business agility and growth without having to worry about the back-end. If you have a security issue or your back-end can’t scale with you, your business is going to be at risk and can’t scale. Our mission is to enable this evolution of data platforms, but provide three core aspects to your data lake: Search, SQL, and Machine Learning.” -- Thomas Hazel
Thomas provides additional insights into platform features like Chaos Refinery®, as well as the technical advantages (e.g. unlimited data retention and running in situ on cloud object storage, with no data movement) and business value (e.g. improved ROI and accelerating time-to-insights) customers are realizing with ChaosSearch.
4. Recommendations for Successful Adoption Long-Term
In the final segment of our webinar, Doug points out upcoming trends in analytical data platforms, including converged warehouse/data lake/log analytics platforms, automation features, and flexible deployment driven by Kubernetes.
He also shares numerous recommendations for choosing a cloud analytics platform, such as encouraging organizations to build cross-functional teams and plan for the future:
“You want to think big and long-term. Look beyond the big, hairy project you have in front of you. Think about mergers, acquisitions, and moving into adjacent markets. You don’t want to choose a platform that will prove to be inadequate two to three years down the road.” -- Doug Henschen
Finally, Thomas shares his own recommendations for organizations seeking an analytical cloud data platform. He encourages businesses to choose a versatile platform like ChaosSearch with multi-API capabilities and cautions against adopting platforms that only fill a single use case:
“Choosing a platform that all constituents of your organization, particularly IT, and the marketing, and the sales can leverage, is key. If it can only do one use case, you’re going to revisit it often. If it doesn’t scale elastically, you’re going to revisit it, or if not, have it fall over.” -- Thomas Hazel
Doug Henschen and Thomas Hazel share 10+ recommendations in this value-packed segment - Watch the on-demand webinar to dig into all of the details.
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