E-Handbook:

Paths for starting a big data service business

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The big data marketplace: Where to begin?

Big data is everywhere.

Ever-increasing volumes of data are feeding artificial intelligence systems, converging with the internet of things, yielding customer insights, predicting cyberattacks and powering predictive maintenance applications.

The wealth of opportunities in and around big data makes for an appealing target. But the ample scope of the big data marketplace also presents a problem for the channel partners hoping to do business here: Where should they focus their energy? Should they consult on appropriate uses? Resell and deploy big data infrastructure? Offer managed services around the technology? Focus on specific vertical market applications?

The list goes on and on. But finding the right place to start isn't the only challenge in the burgeoning data marketplace. Finding the talent to staff a big data practice is also difficult. Data scientists are in chronically short supply. And personnel skilled in Hadoop and its associated tools are hard to come by, even though the technology has been around for more than a decade.

Despite the hurdles, channel companies have some things going for them.  Big data technology vendors -- the various Hadoop distribution providers, for example -- operate channel programs and have made training a priority. In addition, tools have begun to emerge that take some of the complexity out of big data integration and application development.

Becoming a big data service provider is by no means an easy task, but the rewards are potentially enormous. And since the field is so intertwined with other technologies, the big data marketplace provides a gateway to other technology services, from artificial intelligence to the internet of things. This handbook provides some tips on what big data services to consider providing your customers, while providing an overview of the underlying technologies.

It's an expansive, complicated market, but certainly worth a look. 

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