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Wall Street Journal: Much Hadoop About Nothing


One analyst believes Big Data — analytics software that parses large amounts of data for potentially useful business information — has fallen into the “trough of disillusionment,” a lull in the technology’s progression.

Gartner Inc. said that Big Data has fallen into a “trough of disillusionment,” due to its complexity. The research firm said current obstacles to adoption could be eliminated, though, as Big Data tools such as Hadoop are integrated into mainstream analytic applications.

Gartner analyst Svetlana Sicular wrote that CIOs are finding it difficult to get value from Big Data software such as Hadoop, largely because they haven’t defined specific business problems that such tools might solve. She said a client told her that framing the right questions is challenging.

It doesn’t help that there is a shortage of software engineers with skills to run Hadoop, a framework based on open-source technology from Google. that allows clusters of low-cost servers to analyze petabytes of information. Last month GameStop Corp. CIO Jeff Donaldson told CIO Journal that he passed on Hadoop because he didn’t want to take the time to make his engineers learn to use the software, or have to call in consultants for help.

Such obstacles to adoption might be temporary, though. Gartner analyst Bill Gassmann predicted in a report that Big Data will become standard issue in 65% of packaged, advanced analytic applications by 2015. Bundling Hadoop into mainstream analytics apps would boost adoption while reducing the need for engineers with specialized programming skills. Also, some startups are trying to make Hadoop more accessible for mainstream programmers, as AllThingsDigital’s Arik Hesseldahl reported. Read the rest of the article here.

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