Last week, Microsoft announced that it has teamed up with Hortonworks (A Yahoo spinoff working on Hadoop support services) and is set to shortly launch connectors from Apache Hadoop to some of Microsoft’s very popular products including Excel and SQL Server, as well as Microsoft’s cloud based offering Azure. This has been in the works for a while and in fact, Microsoft has been rumored to already be using Hadoop in its Bing search engine.
Why does this matter to marketers?
Apahce Hadoop is an open source software framework that allows organizations to collect and (fairly cheaply) store boatloads of user and digital marketing data for things like web site analytics, digital advertising metrics, social media engagement, etc. The downside to Hadoop is that although it is great for storing lots of potentially valuable marketing data, it’s not so great at being a user friendly tool that allows analysts and marketers to get at this data to easily slice/dice and extract meaningful marketing insights.
This is where the Microsoft tools and Hadoop connectors come in.
Microsoft is taking a valuable data storage framework that has been mostly limited to a few select technical geeks and making it accessible and very useful for marketers. By extracting the unstructured data from Hadoop into a database like Microsoft SQL Server, companies are able to add structure and ease of access to the data, making it easier to analyze and valuable to marketers. Couple this with user friendly analysis tools like Excel and it surely seems like Microsoft is really on to something here. With more and more valuable marketing data being collected every day, it makes sense that organizations would be interested in collecting and storing this data in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible, but marketers still require user friendly tools to analyze it or all this collected data is of little value.
Here are a couple of articles from ComputerWorld on the subject:
Will Microsoft’s tools help your organization harness the power of the data you have?
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