Microsoft (s msft) plans to bring big data to the little guy, said Satya Nadella, president of the Microsoft Server and Tools group and the executive directing the company’s gigantic Windows Azure cloud effort.
The company’s decision to make Hadoop a first-class citizen of Azure is a huge piece of the puzzle, but linking that technology to mere mortal end users with Excel is what will make big data broadly applicable, he said.
“We need to connect those petabytes of data to humans in a workflow. We put the Excel user in the feedback loop. We have to democratize how users can gain insight with our big data strategy,” Nadella said at Structure 2012 Thursday morning.
“There will be more to come. We can bring Linq and some of our language technology to Hadoop to make it easy for us to plug .NET and Linq in,” he said.
Nadella tapped into one of the big issues around big data. The data is out there in massive amounts, but finding the right data and making it actionable and valuable is key.
“Data discovery is one of the biggest issues today. If you’re doing analysis, unless it’s all pre-cooked, how do you discover the data to create insight. That’s the problem we try to solve with Data Market,” Nadella said. The tandem of Azure Data Market on the backend with Excel — and Excel’s PowerView and Powerpivot, you can pick up data sets and analyse them,” he said.