Big Data Reaches Inflection Point

What’s the status of the big data revolution? Fresh clues emerged with week with Hadoop vendor Cloudera scoring a $160 million round of venture capital funding, big data analytics company Platfora getting a $38 million capital infusion, and Allied Market Research issuing an estimate that the $2 billion Hadoop ecosystem (as measured in 2013) will quickly grow to $50 billion by 2020.

Citing that heady $50 billion stat, Rob Bearden, CEO of Cloudera-rival Hortonworks, said that he expects see “60%, 70%, 80%” of enterprise data moving into Hadoop over the coming years. Speaking at this week’s GigaOM Structure Data big data event in New York, Bearden said Hadoop changes the economics of managing data, giving companies a sought-after “single platform that manages all data types and structures.”

Structure keynoter Paul Maritz, CEO of EMC-spinoff Pivotal, said his company is focused on making Hadoop enterprise-ready so “mere mortals can do what the Internet giants have done with lots of data.” Businesses are “starting to wake up to the opportunity,” he said, citing General Electric as a case in point. GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt has changed the direction of that industry giant to seize the opportunity in the Internet of Things, which inspired its “industrial Internet” strategy, marked by connected turbines, locomotives, aircraft engines, and more. The need for big data tooling was one motivation behind GE’s $105-million, 2013 investment in Pivotal.

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