Powering real-time marketing with big data analytics

Data integration, columnar database solution enable marketing agency to crunch hundreds of terabytes, deliver 360-degree view of customers

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Stretching big data dollars
The affordability stood out for Merkle: At about $4,500 per terabyte, the ParAccel Analytic Platform came in at a fraction of the tariff demanded by competitors. That cost advantage made storing and analyzing data more affordable, which has resulted in a 300 percent growth in data processed since switching platforms. Coupling the higher capacity with the more than 500 sophisticated, easy-to-apply analytic functions built into the ParAccel platform, Merkle can offer more complete solutions to its clients.

One of Merkle's specialized requirements involved leveraging existing skills in T-SQL, the query language used by Microsoft SQL Server. Merkle already used Microsoft SQL Server extensively and wanted its data management professionals to use ParAccel with minimal additional training. ParAccel's professional services delivered a T-SQL parser so that developers can write jobs in T-SQL, which are transparently translated to the variety of SQL that runs most efficiently on ParAccel.

On the front end, Merkle uses MicroStrategy for visualization and business intelligence. For data integration, Merkle loads data using native ParAccel tools so that all transformations are performed within ParAccel. This ensures high performance and enables Merkle to hit its data loading windows by obviating the need to transform data on intermediate servers.

Today Merkle has five ParAccel clusters maintaining a total of 50 terabytes of compressed data (200 terabytes of raw data). On a daily basis, the company processes 1GB to 250GB of raw data, depending upon client demand. And those clients are happier, thanks to an integrated, 360-degree view of customers based on real-time interactions -- along with analytics that enable more precise measurement of the effectiveness of campaigns.

This article, "Powering real-time marketing with big data analytics," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Andrew Lampitt's Think Big Data blog, and keep up on the latest developments in big data at InfoWorld.com For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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