Hear from the Master on Mastering Big Data on Hadoop: Evernote’s Dave Engberg Breaks it Down for You on Coffee @Actian with Ray


There are people who talk about experimenting with big data.  There are people who say that we’re in a “trough of despair” because big data initiatives don’t seem to move from the talking or experimental phase into high-impact operational environments.

And then there’s Dave Engberg, CTO of Evernote – he’s the Big Data Real Deal.

Dave talks with Ray Wang, Constellation CEO (also joined a bit later in the episode by Actian CMO Ashish Gupta) about how Evernote conducts phenomenally fast and detailed analytics on its huge dataset – 5 TB and growing daily – using Hadoop and the Actian Analytics Platform.  He describes:

  • Evernote’s rapid growth since its 2008 launch, with more than 100 million people having used it as their ‘external brain’
  • The architectural transition from MySQL DB to Actian Matrix and Hadoop with dynamic dashboards in Tableau
  • Evernote’s innovative methods for tracking details of everything that happens across 30 different client offerings on its unified service architecture
  • How Dave’s team supports very fine-grained segmentation for analytics to improve customer experience and retention, measure sign-up trends, and conduct A/B testing on initial customer experience with Evernote

It’s fascinating to hear Dave tell Ray how Evernote users produce 700 million events daily (and billions weekly), yet Evernote is able to see the data both in aggregate and all the way down to the granular level of every user action – with no sampling trade-offs required. As Ray puts it, Actian’s capabilities are “democratizing data science” for Dave and other big data innovators.

Dave’s team has accomplished amazing things but he does mention one item still on his wish list:  more robust, safer, high-performance SQL on Hadoop.  Evernote is not alone in this request – we’ve spoken to many organizations of all sizes that have been searching far and wide for enterprise-grade SQL access to Hadoop data.   Actian recently answered the call by launching the Actian Analytics Platform – Hadoop SQL Edition, making Hadoop data accessible to business-savvy SQL programmers and business analysts.

Check back soon for more Coffee @Actian with Ray episodes with actionable big data insights!

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