Ron Bodkin is the chief executive officer of Think Big Analytics, a services firm that helps organizations implement big data applications and create value for big data. Ron holds a BS in math and computer science from McGill University and a masters in computer science from MIT. He founded several successful companies, one of which he led to a staff of 900 service consultants. In this interview, Ron talks about Think Big Analytics’ solution for its customers, who the company partners up with and what technologies it uses in order to create its offering. Furthermore, he provides entrepreneurs with insights into gaps in the industry.
Sramana Mitra: Ron, why don’t you tell us a little bit about what Think Big Analytics is all about? What do you do? What problems do you solve? Who are your customers?
Ron Bodkin: Think Big Analytics is a services firm that helps organizations create measurable value for big data. We work with our customers, and we provide services to help them implement big data applications with our engineering and data sciences services. To support that, we provide illumination training and imagine services to help with roadmaps, strategy, and proof of value as part of getting to measurable value. We have an exclusive focus on big data – technologies like Hadoop, NoSQL, and distributed predictive analytics systems. We are technology enabled, but we have assets that we create in projects that we are able to bring to accelerate the time to value in future projects. We also partner with many of the leading product vendors to enable customers to take advantage of all the innovative components, products, and projects in the big data space to get to value quickly.
SM: So, you are a services company?
RB: We are a technology-enabled services company.
SM: Talk to me about your number one vendor relationship. Who is the number one vendor with whom you do the bulk of your work?
RB: We embrace a lot of open source standards. Hadoop has been a foundational technology for big data. It doesn’t solve all the problems, but it is really important. As part of that, we work closely with a number of leading Hadoop vendors. Companies like Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR, etc. We work with all of them. We also see a lot of opportunity to work with HBase, DataStax, Cassandra, as well as a number of analytics and tool frameworks on top of those. We work with organizations like Revolution Analytics. We are really pushing forward with R as an open source statistics environment, and innovators like Infochimps that are supporting Storm for streaming real-time big data and organizations like Datameer and Tableau to provide visualization and business intelligence. The reality is that most solutions require integrating more than one of these technologies. The right technology does vary a bit from problem to problem.