Google service analyzes live streaming data

Google Cloud Dataflow can analyze both streaming and batched data with the same programming models

Google's Dataflow can analyze data as it crosses the wire
Google's Dataflow can analyze data as it crosses the wire

Taking what many see as the next step in big data analysis, Google is previewing a service called Google Cloud Dataflow that analyzes live data, potentially giving users the ability to view trends and be alerted to events as they happen.

"There's an enormous amount of data being created, and so you need a way to ingest that in a more intelligent way," said Brian Goldfarb, Google Cloud Platform head of marketing. With big data, "the program models are different. The technologies are different. It requires developers to learn a lot and manage a lot to make it happen."

"It is a fully managed service that lets you create data pipelines for ingesting, transforming and analyzing arbitrary amounts of data in both batch or streaming mode, using the same programming model," Goldfarb said.

Google Cloud Dataflow is designed so the user can focus on devising proper analysis, without worrying about setting up and maintaining the underlying data piping and processing infrastructure.

It could be used for live sentiment analysis, for instance, where an organization estimates the popular sentiment around a product by scanning social networks such as Twitter. It could also be used as a security tool to watch activity logs for unusual activity.

"There are a bunch of different business applications in which it could apply. In a lot of data-centric verticals, like retail or oil and gas, a technology like this could open the door to getting analytics," Goldfarb said.

It could also be used an alternative to commercial ETL (extract, transform and load) programs, widely used to prepare data for analysis by business intelligence software.

Google Cloud Dataflow is based on technologies that the company built internally for its own use, following up on work it did on the MapReduce programming model, which is used in Apache Hadoop.

Live data stream analysis appears to be the next logical step in big data analysis, a field pioneered by Hadoop. Hadoop provides a way to analyze massive amounts of unstructured data spread across multiple servers. Originally, Hadoop used MapReduce as the platform to write programs that analyze the data.

MapReduce's limitation is that it can only analyze data in batch mode, which means all the data must be collected before it can be analyzed. A number of new software programs have been developed to get around the limitation of batch processing, such as Twitter Storm and Apache Spark, which are both available as open source and can run on Hadoop.

Google's own approach to live data analysis uses a number of technologies built by the company, notably Flume and MillWheel. Flume aggregates large amounts of data and MillWheel provides a platform for low-latency data processing.

The service provides a software development kit that can be used to build complex pipelines and analysis. Like MapReduce, Cloud Dataflow will initially use the Java programming language. In the future, other languages may be supported.

The pipelines can ingest data from external sources and use them for a variety of things. The service provides a library to prepare and reformat data for further analysis, and users can write their own transformations.

The treated dataset can be queried against using Google's BigQuery service. Or the user can write modules to examine the data as it crosses the wire, to look for aberrant behavior or trends in real-time.

Google announced Cloud Dataflow at the company's Google I/O user conference in San Francisco. A small number of Google customers are testing it and the company plans to open it up as a public preview later this year.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Launch marketing council Episode 5: Retailer and supplier

In our fifth and final episode, we delve into the relationship between retailer and supplier and how it drives and influences launch marketing strategies and success. To do that, we’re joined by Campbell Davies, group general manager of Associated Retailers Limited, and Kristin Viccars, marketing director A/NZ, Apex Tool Group. Also featured are Five by Five Global managing director, Matt Lawton, and CMO’s Nadia Cameron.

More Videos

Great read. I agree that it should be a perfect balance between interacting with your customers and knowing your brand. As a business, yo...

Caroline Scott

7 ways CMOs can improve their customer engagement game

Read more

Very true. Team development helps improve collaboration among the team members. I was able to improve my team's collaboration skills by t...

Quent Sinder

Why empowering others can help make you a great leader

Read more

CRM is a very good software that can help you succeed in your business. In my company, this system has allowed me to improve customer rel...

Anna Janicka

Sensis rebrands to Thryv and brings business software to Australian SMBs

Read more

AI Leasing Assistants have finally arrived for the multifamily industry. With so many to choose from it can be hard to figure out which i...

Alice Labs Pte. Ltd.

CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 6 May 2021

Read more

Nowadays, when everything is being done online, it is good to know that someone is trying to make an improvement. As a company, you are o...

Marcus

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

Blog Posts

Why if marketing is all you do, you’ll never be very good at it

OK, so you’re probably thinking: “Here comes another article to badger me about living in my bubble.” And also, “I bet this bubble-bashing piece will go on to explain how I can achieve better results through some heady dose of new life experiences, new routines and annoyingly different opinions on social media.”

Dane Smith

Behavioural science lead and regional consulting partner, Ogilvy

A leader’s role in rebuilding a culture of confidence

Every day, there are new predictions and studies on the future of work, the state of the economy and the unfolding global pandemic. All of which creates uncertainty and heightens the imperative of effective leadership.

Michelle Gibbings

Workplace expert, author

Confused About Your Customers?​

​I've worked in brand and marketing for more than 20 years. But there’s one area where I’ve found myself going around in circles and I must admit I'm becoming increasingly confused.

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in