April 03, 2012

The data challenge is a juggernaut, and Wall Street firms whose budgets are virtually flat these days, are scrambling to figure out how to deal with it.

An effective strategy will recognize the importance of big data and include an investigation of the requirements to ingest, index and integrate structured and unstructured, streaming and static data from a variety of sources, Robert Desautels, CEO, President and Founder, Harvard Research Group, said at yesterday’s High Performance Computing Linux for Wall Street conference.

[For more on the big data challenge, read Five Things To Know About Big Data.]

Here are a few figures that were bandied around at the event:U.S. securities message rates have been growing 30% every 6 months over the last decade, according to Larry Tabb from TABB Group.

Data volume is set to expand 800% in the next five years. Unstructured data grows 10 to 50 times faster than structured data, Jean Staten Healy, director, WW Cross-IBM Linux and Open Virtualization, IBM Corp., noted.

In the meantime, data is getting more social. There is a 42% growth per year in internet-connected devices, Healy said. A staggering 1.2 zetabytes of data (1.2 trillion gigabytes) exists in the digital universe.

The big problem for Wall Street is that IT budgets are growing less than 1%. As a result, organizations are scrambling to get to grips with the data challenge as cost-effectively as possible.

“We’ve had to optimize how to maximize the efficiency of the grid. There are opportunities to leverage sharing of compute resources across lines of business,” Dino Vitale, Director, Morgan Stanley Cross Technology Services, pointed out.

For IBM, the data challenge means looking at how to build smarter networks. “We’re building some that are based on open flow. It allows us to manage network elements remotely by allowing the controller to push policies to each individual switch,” said Stewart Raphael, business development executive, IBM System Networking, IBM Corp.

Above all, the three most important things firms grappling with the big data challenge should focus on are infrastructure, platform, and visualization, Larry Ryan, financial services industry CTO, HP, suggested.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in ...