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This is why big data is the sweet spot for SaaS … and here are 5 reasons why it is Not

Derrick Harris in an article about some SEO-as-a-Service company I haven’t heard about:

People often ask me where the smart money is in big data. I often tell them that’s a foolish question, because I’m not an investor — but if I were, I’d look to software as a service.

There are two primary reasons why, the first of which is obvious: Companies are tired of managing applications and infrastructure, so something that optimizes a common task using techniques they don’t know on servers they don’t have to manage is probably compelling. It’s called cloud computing.

The other reason is that the big part of big data really is important if you want to get a really clear picture of what’s happening in any given space. While no single end-user company can (or likely would) address search-engine optimization, for example, by building a massive store comprised of data from hundreds or thousands of companies as well as the entire web, a cloud service dedicated to that specific task can.

These are obvious advantages of moving the responsibility to a third party service. But I don’t believe SaaS is the future of big data and here’s why big data is not the sweet spot of SaaS:

  1. a SaaS solution is good at a particular job, but it’s rarely the case that particular job is answering all your company questions and reveal the insights in your data. SaaS solutions will tell you want they, not you, think is important about your data.
  2. the promise of a SaaS solution to give you access to more aggregate data sounds wrong. Big data is mostly about your data and each customer will have access to their own slices. Indeed a SaaS solution could augment your data with open data or extra data you’d need to pay for.
  3. transporting your data to each SaaS to answer every question your company has is extremely expensive. If possible.
  4. the nature and form of the questions big data tries to answer is changing. SaaS services will not adapt as fast as you want to the range and depth you need.
  5. having your data in different SaaS solutions is just equivalent to having it in different internal silos. Except you’d pay someone else to protect the silo. The costs of breaking these silos will be much, much higher, so long term you might actually find a real reason why you cannot analyze your data.

Big Data is about agility. It’s about experiments. It’s trial and error. SaaS is about none of these when speaking years and years of data.

Original title and link: This is why big data is the sweet spot for SaaS … and here are 5 reasons why it is Not (NoSQL database©myNoSQL)