Condusiv: Big Data for Retail is Dead; “Fast Data” is the New Black

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“Big data” is now a fact of life in virtually all enterprises, but processing data at the speed of insight matters more for data-intensive industries like retail. Jim D’Arezzo, CEO of Condusiv Technologies, has been saying for years that the tsunami of data is overwhelming IT and SYS Admins, but says now it’s not big data—it’s “FAST DATA.”

Condusiv Technologies

“What it boils down to,” says James D’Arezzo, CEO, Condusiv Technologies, “is the difference between being able to do something challenging, and being able to do it accurately and in a hurry.”

By 2025, it is estimated that enterprises will experience a 50-fold increase in the amount of data they will need to manage. With the increase comes a transition from “big data” to “fast data” as organizations seek to wrest actionable insights from this tidal wave of data.1 “What it boils down to,” says James D’Arezzo, CEO, Condusiv Technologies, “is the difference between being able to do something challenging, and being able to do it accurately and in a hurry.” D’Arezzo, whose company is a world leader in I/O reduction and SQL database performance, adds, “It’s a little like tennis. Making a good clean serve against your local player is one thing. Making it when someone like Roger Federer is serving at you is something else.”

One industry being forced to move quickly from big data to fast data, notes D’Arezzo, is retail. Omnichannel retailing—the ability to provide a seamless customer experience whether in-store or online—has come in the past decade from being virtually impossible to being a competitive necessity. While U.S. omnichannel customers make up only 7% of all consumers, they account for 27% of all retail sales.2 To provide them with the service they have come to expect, it is necessary for the retailer to know where a given item is at all times, so as to make certain the customer gets what she wants how and when she wants it. Average inventory accuracy in retail is about 65%; accurate omnichannel fulfillment requires 95% or greater3, plus the ability to integrate, on the fly, data from the supply chain, customer relations management, credit and collections, and sensor networks.4

To stay in business, retailers must do all this not only quickly but profitably. One major challenge to retail profitability is customer returns of purchased merchandise for credit or refund; it’s not uncommon to see return rates of 30% or more for merchandise bought online, and clothing returns can be closer to 40%.5 To improve inventory turnaround and reduce the cost of returns, innovative retailers are using fast data to link logistics and ecommerce systems so as to immediately add in-process returns to available inventory.6

While “data at the speed of insight” can be invaluable to innovative businesses, it also greatly increases performance requirements for those organizations’ IT systems. In many cases, the on-the-fly database integrations characteristic of fast data are carried out by components that are already a pinch point in many enterprises. Condusiv’s most recent I/O Performance Survey reported that 28% of all organizations are getting user complaints related to sluggish performance from their Microsoft SQL applications.7 And that, notes D’Arezzo, is in 2018—seven years before the predicted 50X increase in data organizations will have to manage.

“Throwing hardware at the problem—adding newer, faster storage, for example—won’t fix it,” D’Arezzo says. “Data handling aside, factors like non-application I/O overhead, data pipelines, and file system overhead—all by themselves—can cause degradation to your applications of 30% to 50% or more. We’ve developed software solutions aimed at application performance problems like MS-SQL workloads, Oracle, ERP, VDI, EHR, business intelligence apps, CRM, Exchange, Share Point, file servers, and backup. We can unjam the data flow and enable big-data operations to become fast—without going broke in the process.”

About Condusiv® Technologies
Condusiv Technologies is the world leader in software-only storage performance solutions for virtual and physical server environments, enabling systems to process more data in less time for faster application performance. Condusiv guarantees to solve the toughest application performance challenges with faster-than-new performance via V-locity® for virtual servers or Diskeeper® for physical servers and PCs. With over 100 million licenses sold, Condusiv solutions are used by 90% of the Fortune 1000 and almost three-quarters of the Forbes Global 100 to increase business productivity and reduce data center costs while extending the life of existing hardware. Condusiv Chief Executive Officer Jim D’Arezzo has had a long and distinguished career in high technology.

Condusiv was founded in 1981 by Craig Jensen as Diskeeper Corporation. Jensen authored Diskeeper, which became the best-selling defragmentation software of all time. Over 33 years, he has taken the thought leadership in file system management and caching and transformed it into enterprise software. For more information, visit http://www.condusiv.com

1. Kolsky, Esteban, “What to do with the data? The evolution of data platforms in a post big data world,” ZDNet, September 13, 2018.
2. Garcia, Krista, “Omnichannel Investments Paying Off,” eMarketer Retail, February 22, 2018.
3. Thau, Barbara, “Is The ‘RFID Retail Revolution’ Finally Here? A Macy’s Case Study,” Forbes, May 15, 2017.
4. King, Timothy, “The Role of Fast Data in the Post-Big Data Era,” Data Management Solutions Review, May 7, 2018.
5. Reagan, Courtney, “A $260 billion ‘ticking time bomb’: The costly business of retail returns,” CNBC, December 16, 2016.
6. Kaneshiro, Lewis, “How Fast Data Is Driving Unexpected Innovation,” Forbes, August 27, 2018.
7. “Condusiv/Diskeeper trying to eliminate noisy I/Os,” e-channel news, March 28, 2018.

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Karla Jo Helms
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