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Industry News Round-up: Big Data and Automakers

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To keep you on top of the latest and greatest big data technology news, we’ve rounded-up a list of topics in the news this week. First, read about how automakers would like to use big data and then is it SQL or no SQL – that is the question.

Ford Jumps on the Big Data “Wagon”
Larry Dignan for ZDNet reports on a recent keynote address by Ford CEO Mark Fields at CES 2015. Turns out Ford is looking for new  and innovative ways to utilize the data it collects.

Mr. Dignan writes, “Ford is obviously aiming beyond the vehicle cockpit. Ford is aiming to become the Apple of the auto industry. It’s not the hardware or software that makes the sale. It’s the integration and intelligence between the hardware and software.”  He also adds Ford is a good example of how every company is turning into a technology company due to data, big data.  Ford has started to experiment with the massive vehicle and driver data it collects. Early plans include analyzing car sharing, vehicle intelligence, driving patterns and insurance to not only improve vehicle automation but also to create smarter roads and cities.

Mr. Dignan notes one challenge that Ford will face in these new initiatives will be connecting big data to the human experience.  What do you think?

Big Data Flip Flop – SQL

Bill Franks writes for Forbes about the current debate buzzing around SQL and non-relational tools.  He sees both SQL and non-relational working side by side in a balanced approach as the best way to approach big data, “Where we will all land is a balanced approach where SQL remains a critical tool for analyzing data, and non-relational analysis is also utilized when appropriate. After all, the goal should always be to solve our business problems in the most efficient way possible.”

He also underscores that non-relational tools are not new.  His opinion is that many businesses just went too far with SQL trying to make it fit every situation. “Just keep in mind that non-relational options have always been available. It isn’t that there was no need for non-relational processing during the first decade of the 21st century.  Rather, companies moved too far toward SQL.  In a case of massive opinion flip-flop, there is now a large movement to enable SQL-like functionality on a wide variety of non-relational platforms, such as Hadoop.”

How does your company use SQL and non-relational tools to answer business questions? Share your thoughts on this debate.