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Bringing Analytics to the Edge: A Cube Discussion with Hitachi Vantara’s Chuck Yarbrough

Analytics has become the fabric of everything. So it’s no surprise that analytics solution providers are weaving it into everything tangible.

Pushing its analytics technologies into embedded devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) is a strategic focus at Hitachi Vantara, as Chuck Yarbrough, the company’s VP of solutions, recently discussed on theCUBE at Big Data NYC.  In his interview, Yarbrough discussed how the vendor, which recently changed its name from Pentaho, is addressing this trend through innovations in what’s often called “edge analytics.”

Here are some highlights from what Yarbrough told me and my Cube co-host John Furrier at that event:

  • IoT analytics converges information technology with operational technology: “One of the big initiatives, part of why Pentaho was originally acquired we were actually Hitachi Data Systems was a customer of Pentaho when we got acquired, so we we knew each other pretty well. And part of the reason for that acquisition was to drive analytics in around Internet of things. The IoT space…is something that Hitachi, being a very large IT and operational technology company, probably does as well as anybody if not better.”
  • Machine learning analytics will be applied to edge-sourced IoT data in cloud-based refineries: “To me data refinery in a digital transformation in an IoT world where lots of data is streaming through. In fact, yesterday I read something by IDC that [IoT data will be] 95% of all data in the future and the data growth is dramatic. It [will be] 10x what it is today in just a few years. 95% of the that growth of data [will be] IoT related. The question is how are you using most of that and what are you going to do with it. So that data’s is streaming through, there’s a lot happening, and we can do things at the edge. We can apply analytics and filtering. But ultimately that data is going to land somewhere and that’s the refinery. Think of it as the big data center refinery, where I’m going to take that large amount of data and…apply machine learning and deep algorithms.”
  • Digital twin technology facilitates management of deep analytics on IoT data: “In an industrial IoT context [it is important to have] a digital representation of what the things are….A digital twin…or asset avatar, as we call it at Hitachi….This idea of really managing those assets, understanding what they are and then being able to know the current state and the previous state….And then that refinery…is…where that information goes to so you can do other kinds of analytics.”
  • Edge analytics is about optimizing experiences and assets to a finer grain: “We have a customer who does trains as a service in England, in Europe. They don’t sell the trains anymore. They actually manufacture trains and they sell the service of getting a passenger from here to there. But for them, edge is everything that happens on those trains and [it entails] tracking, as a digital representation, the train and then being able to drill down deeper and deeper….One of the major delays for train service is doors opening and closing or being delayed, so maybe that comes down to a small part and the vibration of it and tracking that. So you’ve got to be able to track that appropriately.”
  • IoT gateways are key convergence points for edge-sourced data and analytics: “If you’ve got millions, thousands, …of devices out there [with] sensors feeding this data, [as well as] collecting [and] processing [it], you know there’s some level of edge computing gateways [where these] processes…are going to happen.”

For further insights into these topics, please attend Pentaho World 2017 in Orlando on October 25-27. I will be hosting theCUBE at the event, where we will have a full schedule of interviews with Hitachi Vantara, their partners, and their customers. If you’re attending, please also catch me on the mainstage “Power of 3” panel on Thursday, October 26, 10:15-10:40am, discussing the convergence of big data, IoT, and predictive analytics. And don’t forget to stay for my breakout presentation on Friday, October 27, 10:30-11:15am, on the topic “AI-Infused Software is Eating the IoT’s Edge.”

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