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New York Times: Big Data is Coming for You


This morning in a 'Bits' article in The New York Times, Quentin Hardy warned, "Business people, Big Data is coming for you."

Software that captures lots of data and uses it to make predictions has mostly been the province of engineers skilled in arcane databases and statisticians capable of developing complex algorithms. As the business gets bigger, however, software makers are domesticating their products in the hope they will prove attractive to a broader population.

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Cloudera, which offers a popular version of the open source database called Hadoop, released software on Wednesday that makes it possible to run queries from a more mainstream SQL programming language interface. SQL, thanks to its adoption by Oracle, Microsoft and others, is known to millions of business analysts.

Now, with more commerce, content and social behavior online, Hadoop-like systems are valuable to mainstream corporations. Cloudera, which was formed by veterans of Google, Yahoo and Oracle, was among the first to make a commercial management product to go with Hadoop, which is an open source product.

Software makers are domesticating their products in the hope they will prove attractive to a broader population.

This is not the only way companies are trying to reach more Big Data customers. Last week Teradata released a no-cost trial version of a combination database-analysis program that is capable of handling traditional SQL queries as well as larger data analysis work.

The product, which comes from Teradata’s acquisition of Aster Data, has more than 50 analytical functions, including social network analysis and fraud detection. The target audience includes business analysts as much as highly trained data scientists. It comes with tutorials, presumably in the hope that prospective customers will love the test product enough to buy a full-featured production version.

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