Dealing with Device Data

Dealing with Device Data

Mark Madsen, Third Nature

In 2007, a computer game company decided to jump ahead of competitors by capturing and using data created during online gaming. It believed that this data could be used to not only improve the in-game experience but also improve marketing, provide insight into customers, deliver personalized recommendations, research new products, and aid product managers responsible for the product life-cycle.

At the time, collecting and storing all the events generated by online game play was a novel idea. So was the idea of using this nontransactional data across multiple lines of business. The company thought its main problem would be dealing with Internet-scale data. Despite some bad technology choices and major project problems, it turned out that engineering was the easy part. None of the existing development or data practices prepared the company for dealing with the data management and process challenges stemming from distributed devices creating data: business estimation problems, distributed metadata, master data in operational systems and in firmware, varied SLAs, data quality problems, varied event data, and multiple engineering teams with different skills and expectations.

Mark Madsen shares a case study that explores the oversights, failures, and lessons the company learned along the way. The lessons from this project apply as much today in the post-Hadoop, Kafka, and Spark world as they did back then. The only part that has gotten easier is the ability to collect and store data.

About the Speaker

Mark Madsen is president of Third Nature, a technology consulting and market research firm focused on business intelligence, data integration, and data management. Mark is an award-winning architect and former CTO whose work has been featured in numerous industry publications. He is a principal author of Clickstream Data Warehousing (John Wiley & Sons, 2002) and frequently speaks at conferences and writes about business intelligence and emerging technology.