Why Nobody’s Searching for ‘Big Data’


Matthew Aslett at The 451 Group posted some interesting Google Trends graphs shared with him by Cloudera, showing that searches for “Hadoop” far exceed searches for “big data” or “MapReduce.” He notes that even taking the graphs with a grain of salt, they are a strong validation of interest in Hadoop. However, it might not be necessary to view these trends with that grain of salt. It seems likely that the exponentially higher Hadoop search rate is the result of a realization on the part of organizational users that they do have lots of unstructured data, and the next step is figuring out to take advantage of it using the only tool possible: Hadoop.

Organizations don’t need outside validation to convince them they have lots unstructured data, or that there’s value to be had from analyzing it. What they need to know is how to store and process all that data. So kudos to Doug Cutting for creating Hadoop as the ideal tool for this job, to Yahoo (S YHOO) for getting the word out, and to Cloudera for taking the ball and running with it, making Hadoop a more realistic option for mainstream organizations and sharing use case after use case demonstrating its potential. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any other tools that do what Hadoop does for processing large unstructured datasets, especially not any other open source ones. What else are people going to search for?

To illustrate the point, I ran some Google Trends comparisons of my own. “NoSQL” also far outpaces “big data” (although not “Hadoop”). Even “Cloudera” has garnered far more searches than has “big data.” “Hadoop” searches even far outnumber those for “terabytes.” Big data, it seems, is a great term for us in the press, but the folks actually swimming in the sea of data fully comprehend their situations and are just looking for surfboard to help them ride the wave.

Image courtesy of Flickr user thelastminute.

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