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Spark in Action, Second Edition MEAP V14 cover

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Spark: The Analytics Operating System

In Spark in Action, JG Perrin takes you deep into the world of Spark. This book covers the power of the technology, the vibrancy of the ecosystem, and also covers practical applications for putting Spark to work in your company today. Whether you are a data engineer, data scientist, application developer, or running IT operations, Spark in Action reveals the tools and secrets that you need to know, to drive innovation in your company or community.

In the 20th century, scale effects in business were largely driven by breadth and distribution. A company with manufacturing operations around the world had an inherent cost and distribution advantage, leading to more competitive products. A retailer with a global base of stores had a distribution advantage that could not be matched by a smaller company. These scale effects drove competitive advantage for decades.

The Internet changed all of that.

Today, there are three predominant scale effects:

·   Network: lock-in that is driven by a loyal network (Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, etc.)

·   Economies of Scale: lower unit cost, driven by volume (Apple, TSMC, etc.)

·   Data: superior machine learning and insight, driven from a dynamic corpus of data

In Big Data Revolution (Wiley, 2016), I profiled a few companies that are capitalizing on data as a scale effect. But, here in 2019, big data is still largely an unexploited asset in institutions around the world. 

foreword

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