Bigger and better

Reasons to be excited about Big Data in 2013

ElliotBentleyandChrisMayer
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The ‘year of Big Data’ may be over, but the ride’s only just begun. Here’s why JAXenter is still excited by the buzzword in the coming year.

2012 was the ‘Year of Big Data’, many proclaimed last January: so where does that leave the industry in 2013? An even better place, we reckon.

Following on from yesterday’s 5 Reasons to be excited about Java in 2013, here’s why JAXenter is still excited by Big Data in the coming year.

Hadoop’s next real-time move

The term ‘Big Data’ obtained plenty of attention (and equal scrutiny) last year with all the vendors driving home the importance of data processing and storage, as they’d been doing for many years before. Towards the tail end of 2012, we began to see the next stage of the ‘Big Data’ revolution – real time.

Google’s 2010 research paper Dremel seems to have inspired many within the space, demonstrating the possibility of querying ad-hoc and in real-time. Cloudera unveiled Impala in October, while MapR went to the Apache Incubator with Drill, their distributed system for analysing huge datasets.

Hadoop has reached maturity but its main hindrance has been the inability of gleaning analysis at the speed which enterprises demand. 2013 could be the year where we see this change and a new direction for data-centric products. (Chris Mayer)


Statistics are now sexy (thanks to Nate SIlver)

To the unwashed masses to whom the term Big Data sounds like a new Adam Sandler movie, 2012 was a landmark year for quantitative analysis. This was mostly thanks to Nate Silver, the New York Times blogger who accurately predicted the re-election of Barack Obama by aggregating poll data, and whose book ‘The Signal and the Noise’, which covers the less-than-sexy topic of statistics, became a bestseller.

So, as a statistician becomes one of the New York Times’ most famous writers, there’s now an even simpler shorthand for explaining the concept of Big Data: “let’s do it like Nate Silver”. Hopefully this brief capturing of the public’s imagination (and, even better, that of your boss) will lead to an even greater clamouring for Big Data technologies.


‘Big Data’ might become ‘data’

‘Big Data’ is far from a new concept: it’s just more possible than ever before thanks to recent advances in hardware and software. However, traditional terms like ‘data analysis’ have fallen by the wayside in preference of the irritating (if useful) buzzword.

However, the tide appears to be turning. In his predictions for the new year, Hortonworks President Herb Cunitz said: “By the end of 2013, the ‘big’ moniker will no longer be necessary… it is all just data after all.”

Now the concepts of Big Data are fairly well-known – at least within the developer community – can we go back to just calling it ‘data’ again? Lest we risk turning into a Dilbert strip.


Jumping in is easier than ever

As the Hadoop platform solidifies, it is forming the foundation for clever startups like Precog and Continuuity which are abstracting away existing barriers to entry, and we’re likely to see even more of this within the coming year.

As Continuuity CEO Todd Papaioannou told JAXenter: “The regular Java developer who is writing J2EE for the past decade doesn’t want to have to deal with kernel-level API, so they don’t have to worry about, ‘how do I store data?’ and worry about method calls that are like ‘bytes[] byte’ and things like that. They want higher-level APIs.”

Without the worries of dealing with the underlying platform, developers less familiar with Hadoop will be able to jump on board too – hopefully resulting in an explosion of Big Data applications.

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ElliotBentleyandChrisMayer

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