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Hortonworks Offers Scorecard for Big Data Adoption

The promised benefits of becoming a "data-driven" organization capitalizing on business insights gleaned from analytics are many, but it's a complicated transition that vendors are trying to simplify with tools such as the Big Data Scorecard introduced this week by Hortonworks Inc.

One of many attempts to provide an easier on-ramp to Big Data, the scorecard seeks to provide structure to the process, including assessment of a company's current situation via information collected in a survey. Results are compared to industry norms to gauge an organization's current "maturity" level and where it would like to be in two years.

"Our analyses will then help you identify your current gaps with internal Big Data goals as well as look at the external gaps when compared to the industry's current and future maturity across the same capability domains," the Hortonworks Big Data Scorecard site says.

The initial assessment measures how ready an organization is to tackle Big Data, accounting for factors such as current systems in use and if the right people and skills are available to advance its capabilities. Finding those people and skills is a continuing problem plaguing Big Data adoption.

The Hortonworks Big Data Scorecard
[Click on image for larger view.] The Hortonworks Big Data Scorecard (source: Hortonworks Inc.)

That was a prime factor mentioned in a recent report from research firm Gartner Inc. that revealed many companies were struggling with joining the Big Data bandwagon. "Skills gaps continue to be a major adoption inhibitor for 57 percent of respondents, while figuring out how to get value from Hadoop was cited by 49 percent of respondents," Gartner said. "The absence of skills has long been a key blocker. Tooling vendors claim their products also address the skills gap. While tools are improving, they primarily support highly skilled users rather than elevate the skills already available in most enterprises."

Another recent report from Software AG shed more light on the overall problem, finding a "Big Data paralysis" was holding companies back. "While decision makers understand that greater visibility over internal processes and real-time data analysis could lead to operational improvements, they still lack the support and solutions needed to make it a reality," the company said.

It's exactly that greater visibility, support and solutions that Hortonworks' new effort is apparently seeking to provide.

Hortonworks said that after the initial assessment survey, it provides customers with a Joint Innovation Program "to identify opportunities in their industry, build a holistic strategy and deliver a plan that leads to real business transformation."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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