Cloudera Developer Blog · Use Case Posts
This week, I’d like to shine a spotlight on innovative work the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is working on, leveraging Big Data, in the area of genomic research. Understanding DNA structure and functions is a very data-intensive, complex, and expensive undertaking. Apache Hadoop is making it more affordable and feasible to process, store, and analyze this data, and the NIH is embracing the technology for this reason. In fact, it has initiated a Big Data center of excellence — which it calls Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) — to accelerate innovations in bioinformatics using Big Data, which will ultimately help us better understand and control various diseases and disorders.
Bob Gourley — a friend of Cloudera’s who wears many hats including publisher of CTOvision.com, CTO of Crucial Point LLC, and GigaOm analyst — recently interviewed Dr. Mark Guyer, the deputy director of the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), about the BD2K effort.
Some key highlights from the interview:
For those of you attending this week’s StampedeCon event in St. Louis, I’d encourage you to check out the “Thinking in MapReduce” session presented by Cerner’s Ryan Brush. The session will cover the value that MapReduce and Apache Hadoop offer to the healthcare space, and provide tips on how to effectively use Hadoop ecosystem tools to solve healthcare problems.
Big Data challenges within the healthcare space stem from the standard practice of storing data in many siloed systems. Hadoop is allowing pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers to revolutionize their approach to business by making it easier and more cost efficient to bring together all of these fragmented systems for a single, more accurate view of health. The end result: smarter clinical care decisions, better understanding of health risks for individuals and populations, and proactive measures to improve health and reduce healthcare costs.
Hadoop is quickly becoming a core component of Cerner’s data management environment, complementing existing relational systems. (Cerner has more than a petabyte across all Hadoop clusters today, and multiple petabytes on relational systems.) The unique value delivered by Hadoop lies in its ability to combine unstructured with structured data, and to then apply complex computations to that data at large scale.
Users of CDH, Cloudera’s Big Data platform, are solving big problems and building amazing solutions with Apache Hadoop. We at Cloudera are very proud of our customers’ accomplishments, and it’s time to showcase them. This year we’re thrilled to present the first annual Data Impact Awards, an awards program designed to recognize Hadoop innovators for their achievements in five categories:
The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) runs an annual Best Practices Awards program to recognize organizations for their achievements in business intelligence and data warehousing. A few months ago, I was introduced to Motorola Mobility’s VP of cloud platforms and services, Balaji Thiagarajan. After learning about its interesting Apache Hadoop use case and the success it has delivered, Balaji and I worked together to nominate Motorola Mobility for the TDWI Best Practices Award for Emerging Technologies and Methods. And to my delight, it won!
Chances are, you’ve heard of Motorola Mobility. It released the first commercial portable cell phone back in 1984, later dominated the mobile phone market with the super-thin RAZR, and today a large portion of the massive smartphone market runs on its Android operating system.
In recent years, Motorola Mobility implemented a Hadoop system based on Cloudera Enterprise to help create a “unified data repository” that is positively impacting business KPIs. For instance, CSAT scores have risen based on call center insights and product returns (a metric of quality) are decreasing based on service center insights.
In this Customer Spotlight, I’d like to emphasize some undeniably positive use cases for Big Data, by looking at some of the ways the healthcare and life sciences industries are innovating to benefit humankind. Here are just a few examples:
Mount Sinai School of Medicine has partnered with Cloudera’s own Jeff Hammerbacher to apply Big Data to better predict and understand disease processes and treatments. The Mount Sinai School of Medicine is a top medical school in the US, noted for innovation in biomedical research, clinical care delivery, and community services. With Cloudera’s Big Data technology and Jeff’s data science expertise, Mount Sinai is better equipped to develop solutions designed for high-performance, scalable data analysis and multi-scale measurements. For example, medical research and discovery areas in genotype, gene expression and organ health will benefit from these Big Data applications.
“We are at the cutting edge of disease prevention and treatment, and the work that we will do together will reshape the landscape of our field,” said Dennis S. Charney, MD, The Mount Sinai Medical Center.
On June 3, 2013, I represented Explorys at the Computerworld Honors Laureate Ceremony and Awards Gala ceremony held in Washington, D.C. Explorys was named an Honors Program Laureate and nominated for a 2st Century Achievement Award in the “Collaboration” category (one of 11 categories) for the Explorys-Cloudera case study on “Big Data in Healthcare.” The theme this year was “A Search For New Heroes,” to recognize applications of information technology that promote positive social, economic, and educational change.
This is the week of Apache HBase, with HBaseCon 2013 taking place Thursday, followed by WibiData’s KijiCon on Friday. In the many conversations I’ve had with Cloudera customers over the past 18 months, I’ve noticed a trend: Those that run HBase stand out. They tend to represent a group of very sophisticated Hadoop users that are accomplishing impressive things with Big Data. They deploy HBase because they require random, real-time read/write access to the data in Hadoop. Hadoop is a core component of their data management infrastructures, and these users rely on the latest and greatest components of the Hadoop stack to satisfy their mission-critical data needs.
Today I’d like to shine a spotlight on one innovative company that is putting top engineering talent (and HBase) to work, helping to save the planet — literally.
That company is Opower. Opower partners with 80+ utilities providers to offer an integratedcustomer engagement platform using a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. Its goal: to help people save energy and reduce utilities bills by applying intensive, Big Data analytics to deliver informative dashboards, alerts, incentives, similar household comparisons, and other communications to customers across communication channels and via in-home devices. Opower combines utility data — such as that from smart meters — with weather information, geographic details, demographic data and more, over decades of history, so it can offer valuable insights. (Hint: this is where the value of Hadoop and HBase come in.)
Earlier this week, we hosted The Cloudera Forum to reveal Cloudera’s “Unaccept the Status Quo” vision and to announce the public beta launch of Cloudera Search. The event featured a panel discussion between representatives from four companies that are embracing the latest big data innovations, moderated by our own CEO Mike Olson. Those are the companies I’d like to highlight in this week’s spotlight, for obvious reasons. The panelists were… (drumroll, please):
This week I’d like to highlight King.com, a European social gaming giant that recently claimed the throne for having the most daily active users (more than 66 million). King.com has methodically and successfully expanded its reach beyond mainstream social gaming to dominate the mobile gaming market — it offers a streamlined experience that allows gamers to pick up their gaming session from wherever they left off, in any game and on any device. King.com’s top games include “Candy Crush Saga” and “Bubble Saga”.
And — you guessed it — King.com runs on CDH.
With a business model that offers all games for free, King.com relies advertising and in-game products like boosters and extra lives to generate revenue. In other words, it has to be smart in every communication with customers in order to create value for both the gamer and the advertiser.