We’ve all been faced with the job search in our careers at one point, like many this is where I found myself in the later part of 2020. The good news, opportunity is abundant. As much doom and gloom 2020 has brought us, it has also brought a lot of greatness. I personally found greatness is connecting with my family and friends, something I often took for granted to focus on my career. Can I say it’s been nice to be at home more, sleep in my own bed and eat food prepared in my kitchen? The year also challenged my career, and the outcome, you guessed it, more greatness! An opportunity to join the Ottawa, Ontario (Canada) based Wise With Data team.

Let me tell you about my next adventure and why I fought to join the Wise With Data team. 

Analytics and cloud are certainly two technologies that won’t be going away anytime soon. In fact, analytics have been used by every organization for decades. We wouldn’t have the great target marketing we see on the internet, we wouldn’t have amazing fraud detection delivered by our financial institutions, a strategic partner in our daily lives, retailers wouldn’t be able to stock shelves keeping us fed and our Christmas presents in stock. Most importantly, as we’ve learned this year we wouldn’t be able to deliver case projections, so important to keep our hospital’s functioning smoothly and our communities safe. Man, where would we be in the hunt for a vaccine without data and technology?

We’ve all read the headlines and heard from every vendor, data is the new oil. The value of your data is both well known and completely unknown. Think about how the world has changed, how much unstructured data we generate daily from our social media posts, the documents we create and share, and even the photos we take. To prove this fact, just look at how our mobile devices have evolved, finding a picture of that 2018 Disney vacation amongst the thousands of photos on your phone has never been easier. I am thankful for this, as my wife puts together the annual calendar of our children’s photos as gifts and keepsakes for the family.

So why WWD? Apache Spark! Working with many organizations and tools for many years, I have seen the power Spark’s in memory distributed architecture delivers. This modern approach can unleash the next chapter in your advanced analytics journey, inclusive of cloud adoption. For many, legacy applications exist in their environment another silo for data warehousing and processing. Key tools we have come to rely on to run our business, generating invoices, providing marketing insights, understanding demographics and landscapes, AND SO MUCH MORE. 

As the adoption of 5G steams ahead, IoT devices will be everywhere, connected and generating data. Data that will help our industries solve new challenges like predicting equipment failure and maintenance, reducing costs of goods and services, improving logistics, finding new markets and understanding our customers at new, more intimate levels. The results are going to be phenomenal, ensuring smart cities operate to true traffic flows, commuter trains doors open without failure ensuring we can get to work on time, identifying leaks in oil pipelines before a catastrophic failure negatively impacts our environment and costs these companies Millions to repair physical and emotional damage. The opportunities are limitless and will ensure our world changes for the better.

For our future, and future generations we need to develop these technologies on a solid foundation, an open foundation that won’t leave us with another IT silo, something that will grow with us, delivering on the unknown expectations of the future and do so agnostic of where it lives, cloud or on-premise. To ensure results are delivered as rapidly as we generate the data an in memory, distributed architecture is required. Something capable of expanding as we need it. At WWD we believe the foundation is Apache Spark. According to a December 2018 Forbes article Apache Spark is one of the most-adopted big data analytics and machine learning technologies in the enterprise today. This adoption has only continued to grow, a quick Google search will list thousand of trusted enterprises (Banks, Insurance, Oil & Gas, Telco, Retail, Healthcare organizations and more) and the outcomes are all positive.

The challenge for many isn’t adoption of new technologies and building a solid foundation, it’s often about the legacy solutions in place, migrating data, ensuring outputs are identical, and transitioning lines of business quickly, efficiently and transparently. One of these legacy applications is SAS, the foundation, and silo for almost every enterprise globally. Not only are the Data Scientists at WWD experts with Apache Spark and advanced analytics, we have developed the tools and processes to migrate legacy SAS code into PySpark. Why is this so amazing? Simple, migrating proprietary code is extremely time consuming, requiring many hands and many years of manual labor. The time and risk associated is taxing on the enterprise, and keeps the enterprise from moving forward, innovating with advanced analytics. Leveraging WWD’s processes and expertise will cut your migration time by as much as 70% moving you to your end goal much more rapidly with improved efficiencies and accuracy. 

You may be wondering how the cloud fits in here. Simply put applications such as SAS are not cloud native. If cloud first is your mentality, you can already see the challenge. Starting from ground up with a net new platform, building the processes and outcomes from scratch isn’t an option. You must migrate the data, this saves time, reduces risk, and works to not upset you client and customer base. Side note, isn’t it funny how users and customer shy away from change, however they expect and often demand innovation and constant improvement?

To recap, Wise With Data was the obvious choice for me. I want to partner with you, our customer on your journey to advanced analytics. I too believe Spark is the right foundation and our unique service offerings will help you transition more quickly, cost effectively, accurately and with far less risk. 

For those of you on the hunt for the next chapter in your career, keep searching – the pandemic isn’t all that bad as organizations regroup and hire to overcome and succeed in the future. Leverage your network, think outside the box and take time to learn and develop new skills. If you need a coach, a mentor, someone to talk to I am happy to lend you an ear. 

You can reach me at Terry.Swaren@WiseWithData.com