Hearing the Oracle

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Big Data Comeuppance Sightings

Gartner Hype Cycle graphic cited by Sicular

Gartner Hype Cycle graphic cited by Sicular

I’m no market analyst, but I have to admit that among my first early reactions to noticing all the BD buzz afoot back in 2010 was to wonder: exactly who besides the odd Google, Amazon, Facebook or Twitter with their godzillabytes datapile cultures would need this stuff for real? I’m exaggerating, since I can see plenty of research opportunities within BioTech, communications analysis, financial, and other sectors as possibilities. But the real question is whether the average corporate data heap’s need for BD and NoSQL is actual, or just hype.

Lots of year-in-review pieces on BD have shown a skeptical cautiousness, recently. Gartner’s Svetlana Sicular wonders where on the downward slope (see graphic above) BD’s outlook is presently situated, and reveals that many among her NoSQL clientele have exited their honeymoon periods with the promising technology, and are coming up against the real-world difficulties of framing and then analytically investigating the right meaningful questions with their data treasure chests.

“You can fool yourself with data like you can’t with anything else. I fear a Big Data bubble.”
                         ~Claudia Perlich

But there are also questions on the suitability front. In ReadWriteWeb’s interview with Monte Widenius, the original creator of MySQL, the story of Twitter’s failed attempt to replace it’s MySQL backend with Cassandra is recounted. According to Widenius, development staffs like to jump into NoSQL because little upfront designing is required. It has more of a proptyping feel; there’s the belief things can be resolved on the fly. He contends that as soon as the barrier is passed where data no longer fits into memory, SQL databases begin to out-perform NoSQL. His new open source project, MariaDB, is looking to bridge the gap between the two realms and support features common to both.

“SQL is not going away. NoSQL can’t replace it. Almost everyone will need relations (i.e., joins) to utilize their data. Still, there are places where NoSQL makes sense. I think, in the future, you will see more combined SQL and NoSQL usage.”
                         ~Monte Widenius

~RS

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1 Comment

  1. telugugadda says:

    It is a great concept for federated data sharing! I think it works good for consumer passive data where there is no risk on transaction sharing. I am wondering how we use this new technology in Healthcare Industry where data owners and care takers are very critical on sharing the patient information without a) data sharing agreements to minimize privacy risks per HIPAA Omnibus ruling, b) data harmonization and normalization for interoperability, c) Audits for HITECH ruling, and d) readiness for BI/DSS for the care and decease management. I believe that the technology is still in “peak of inflated expectations” and not ready for prime time serious business like healthcare.

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