The Data Analytics Revolution

BusinessWeek has an interesting report on how data analytics are revolutionizing organizational decision making.  It all started with Google:

The big bang in data analytics occurred in 2006 with the release of an open-source system called Hadoop. The technology was created by a software consultant named Doug Cutting, who had been examining a series of technical papers released by Google (GOOG). The papers described how the company spread tremendous amounts of information across its data centers and probed that pool of data for answers to queries. Where traditional data warehouses crammed as much information as possible on a few expensive computers, Google chopped up databases into bite-size chunks and sprinkled them among tens of thousands of cheap computers. The result was a lower-cost and higher-capacity system that lots of people can use at the same time. Google uses the technology throughout its operations. Its systems study billions of search results, match them to the first letters of a query, take a guess at what people are looking for, and display suggestions as they type. You can see the bite-size nature of the technology in action on Google Maps as tiny tiles come together to form a full map.

Cutting created Hadoop to mimic Google’s technology so the rest of the world could have a way to sift through massive data sets quickly and cheaply.

This approach is now proliferating throughout industry and government, making low-cost, high power real-time data analysis available for organizations both small and large.  You can read about how this is changing the world here.

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