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How do you cram 1 trillion rows in a spreadsheet?

Robert Lefkowitz of 1010data at Structure:Data 2012
(c) 2012 Pinar Ozger. [email protected]

Updated. Spreadsheets don’t have to be limited, argues Robert Lefkowitz, director of web development of 1010data. In a presentation titled “The Trillion Row Spreadsheet,” Lefkowitz argued at Structure:Data 2012 for why desktop-based or browser-based spreadsheets aren’t the solution if you have tons of data you need to put to work.

You can’t get a trillion rows in a [traditional] spreadsheet, but if it’s a web-based spreadsheet you can totally get a trillion rows because the spreadsheet part isn’t in the browser or on the backend, it’s in the data warehouse,” Lefkowitz said.

Trillion, of course, is a rather arbitrary number, meant to stand in for some really large number. And Lefkowitz admitted that 1010data isn’t quite to the trillion number just yet — but they plan to get there.

“We have customers running 400 billion row tables,” he said. “We expect to get (to a trillion) in the next year or so.”

Watch the livestream of Structure:Data here.

Update: This story was corrected to include Lefkowitz’s proper title.

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