Cloudera Engineering Blog · Use Case Posts

Text Mining with Impala

Thanks to Torsten Kilias and Alexander Löser of the Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin for the following guest post about their INDREX project and its integration with Impala for integrated management of textual and relational data.

Textual data is a core source of information in the enterprise. Example demands arise from sales departments (monitor and identify leads), human resources (identify professionals with capabilities in ‘xyz’), market research (campaign monitoring from the social web), product development (incorporate feedback from customers), and the medical domain (anamnesis).

How Used Spark Streaming to Build a Near Real-Time Dashboard

Thanks to Sam Shuster, Software Engineer at, for the guest post below about his company’s use case for Spark Streaming, SparkOnHBase, and Morphlines.

Every year, the Super Bowl brings parties, food and hopefully a great game to appease everyone’s football appetites until the fall. With any event that brings in around 114 million viewers with larger numbers each year, Americans have also grown accustomed to commercials with production budgets on par with television shows and with entertainment value that tries to rival even the game itself.

How Cerner Uses CDH with Apache Kafka

Our thanks to Micah Whitacre, a senior software architect on Cerner Corp.’s Big Data Platforms team, for the post below about Cerner’s use case for CDH + Apache Kafka. (Kafka integration with CDH is currently incubating in Cloudera Labs.)

Over the years, Cerner Corp., a leading Healthcare IT provider, has utilized several of the core technologies available in CDH, Cloudera’s software platform containing Apache Hadoop and related projects—including HDFS, Apache HBase, Apache Crunch, Apache Hive, and Apache Oozie. Building upon those technologies, we have been able to architect solutions to handle our diverse ingestion and processing requirements.

How-to: Do Near-Real Time Sessionization with Spark Streaming and Apache Hadoop

This Spark Streaming use case is a great example of how near-real-time processing can be brought to Hadoop.

Spark Streaming is one of the most interesting components within the Apache Spark stack. With Spark Streaming, you can create data pipelines that process streamed data using the same API that you use for processing batch-loaded data. Furthermore, Spark Steaming’s “micro-batching” approach provides decent resiliency should a job fail for some reason.

How Impala Supports Mixed Workloads in Multi-User Environments

Our thanks to Melanie Imhof, Jonas Looser, Thierry Musy, and Kurt Stockinger of the Zurich University of Applied Science in Switzerland for the post below about their research into the query performance of Impala for mixed workloads.

Recently, we were approached by an industry partner to research and create a blueprint for a new Big Data, near real-time, query processing architecture that would replace its current architecture based on a popular open source database system.

How-to: Count Events Like a Data Scientist

The ability to quickly and accurately count complex events is a legitimate business advantage.

In our work as data scientists, we spend most of our time counting things. It is the foundational skill that is used in data cleansing, reporting, feature engineering, and simple-but-effective machine learning models like Naive Bayes classifiers. Hilary Mason has a quote about the benefits of counting that I love:

Estimating Financial Risk with Apache Spark

Learn how Spark facilitates the calculation of computationally-intensive statistics such as VaR via the Monte Carlo method.

Under reasonable circumstances, how much money can you expect to lose? The financial statistic value at risk (VaR) seeks to answer this question. Since its development on Wall Street soon after the stock market crash of 1987, VaR has been widely adopted across the financial services industry. Some organizations report the statistic to satisfy regulations, some use it to better understand the risk characteristics of large portfolios, and others compute it before executing trades to help make informed and immediate decisions.

How-to: Manage Time-Dependent Multilayer Networks in Apache Hadoop

Using an appropriate network representation and the right tool set are the key factors in successfully merging structured and time-series data for analysis.

In Part 1 of this series, you took your first steps for using Apache Giraph, the highly scalable graph-processing system, alongside Apache Hadoop. In this installment, you’ll explore a general use case for analyzing time-dependent, Big Data graphs using data from multiple sources. You’ll learn how to generate random large graphs and small-world networks using Giraph – as well as play with several parameters to probe the limits of your cluster.

Using Impala at Scale at Allstate

Our thanks to Don Drake (@dondrake), an independent technology consultant who is currently working as a Principal Big Data Consultant at Allstate Insurance, for the guest post below about his experiences with Impala.

It started with a simple request from one of the managers in my group at Allstate to put together a demo of Tableau connecting to Cloudera Impala. I had previously worked on Impala with a large dataset about a year ago while it was still in beta, and was curious to see how Impala had improved since then in features and stability.

How-to: Process Time-Series Data Using Apache Crunch

Did you know that using the Crunch API is a powerful option for doing time-series analysis?

Apache Crunch is a Java library for building data pipelines on top of Apache Hadoop. (The Crunch project was originally founded by Cloudera data scientist Josh Wills.) Developers can spend more time focused on their use case by using the Crunch API to handle common tasks such as joining data sets and chaining jobs together in a pipeline. At Cloudera, we are so enthusiastic about Crunch that we have included it in CDH 5! (You can get started with Apache Crunch here and here.)

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