Finally some substance to the rhetoric

Why Big Data matters in 2012

Chris Mayer

Big Data is big business. We preview the upcoming Big Data Con London 2012 conference, where the hype will become something much more tangible

Yep, Big Data is ubiquitous and while
you might be sick of hearing the term,
this year its charged
up the enterprise agenda, as
companies from
the smallest startup to the largest
multi-conglomerate all search for the latest methods to
handle the mass of data they’ve accrued.

At the same time, the term Big Data has for
become a dreaded
. Does anyone actually understand what it’s
about? Is every solution that remotely deals with data get chucked
into the ever expanding collective? To many people,
this Dilbert
sums up the Big Data movement – all
rhetoric, no substance.

But this is far from universally true: as

Hype Cycle for Big Data 2012
recently put
it: “
Big data is big money. And big confusion. As with
every new term that creates excitement in the market, every vendor
is marketing ‘big data solutions’.”

Whatever you think of the rise of data solutions, one thing
is clear – you just can’t ignore them
Yet hardly any of these solutions are new – most of them
having received extensive tinkering for years. For example, the
data processing framework MapReduce was introduced at Google in

The centre point of Big Data is data crunching platform
Apache Hadoop. Its 1.0 release in December 2011 gave the jolt the
area needed to permeate the enterprise world,

and paved the way for
other emerging frameworks and datastores to generate interest.
Within Hadoop, a number of smaller projects such as Hive, Pig and
HBase are thriving, expanding the platform’s potential and coming
together to form a cohesive unit.

From scalable NoSQL solutions Apache Cassandra and MongoDB to
graph database neo4j, a number of technologies are finally seeing
the traction they deserve as the vendor arms race towards building
big data-focused stacks begins.

With JAX London, just around the
corner, we felt the time was right to start our own little Big Data
revolution with Big Data Con London 2012. After a successful debut
at JAX 2012 in Mainz, we’ve bringing the conference to Ol’ Blighty
on the 16th October 2012 to try and make sense of the world of Big
Data and help you make the most out of these

With only
two tracks to fill as part of JAX
, as track organiser I had a
difficult task
fitting in as
many processing and storage topics as possible, whilst also
attempting to provide a general overview of the

Personally, I’m most excited about hearing from
Hadoop creator Doug Cutting, now Architect at Cloudera. He’ll
provide the day’s keynote
Unlocking the Power
of Big Data with Hadoop
You couldn’t really
ask for a better guide to
unleashing the power of the
yellow elephant than from the man behind the hugely successful

If that wasn’t a big enough draw for you, how about Tom
Wilkie offering some invaluable approaches to

real-time analytics applications built in
? Or Brendan McAdams exploring the
relationship between
MongoDB and the
? Perhaps Lars George’s
introductory talk to HBase, followed up some
more advanced stuff?

Or hear another side of the story from Basho’s
Ian Plosker
, who tells us
Why Big Data is a Problem, not a
, and
introduces us to the concept of
Critical Data, where only the most important stuff

If that’s whet your appetite somewhat, why not head over to
Big Data
website to find out more?

As more revolutionary technologies appear, the real acid test
for Big Data is entering every enterprise in some shape or form.
We’re beginning to see the term enter the mainstream media too,
suggesting that hype is much more tangible than previous.

An extra treat for you – if you weren’t sure of how
Big Data’s shaping the world, check out this excellent presentation
from Rick Smolan on The Human Face of Big Data…

Rick Smolan – The Human Face
of Big Data
from Steven
on Vimeo.

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