BlueKai is excited to welcome Abe Taha as our new VP of Data Science and Engineering! To read the official press release, please click here.
1) Big data is a commonly used term that means different things to different people. What does it mean to you?
To me big data is simply data that you cannot process on a single machine in a reasonable amount of time. You really need a large storage and compute infrastructure to process in a meaningful time frame. There are common attributes ascribed to big data, including volume, velocity, and variety. The volume refers to the amount of data you need to process, the velocity to how fast you’re receiving data and need to act on it, and the variety to the different types of data you are receiving: structured, semi-structured, or unstructured. They all combine to the difficulty of processing big data.
2) What are some of the biggest technology hurdles you face when dealing with big data? How do you think about tackling them?
Some of the biggest technology hurdles are how can you extract valuable information out of the data in a meaningful way that humans can consume, how fast you can do it, and how can you verify that the insights you’re getting are real. The first is an algorithmic and visualization problem:extracting information out of a sea of data, and presenting it to the user in a meaningful way. The second is an infrastructure problem: how do you process big data in an efficient way and in a reasonable amount of time. The open source eco-systems offers many alternatives to tackle that problem, that are geared toward batch, streaming, and real-time computations. And the third is a question of data quality.
3) Why BlueKai?
Two reasons, the people and the technology. BlueKai offers a myriad of big data problems at scale. On any given day we get roughly 1500 billion events, and we need to process these to understand what our users are interested in, and how do we can serve them better. And the team is great!
4) Can you tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you?
Most people know that I like to read anything that I can put my hands on, but what they don’t know is that I also love to eat, and I’ve been to a lot of places around the bay area, and throughout my travels. In short I like to eat my way through countries.