Big Data shrinks to grow

What’s next for Big Data? Maybe a little thinning down of the industry and a little more focus, The New York Times reports.

In fact, it may be underway. Google Trends shows searches of the term “Big Data” peaked in October, ending a nearly ceaseless climb that began three years earlier. Google doesn’t offer absolute numbers, but in that time there was a hundredfold increase in interest in the term.

That seems a reasonable match to the number of start-ups, public relations pitches and gurus using the term over this period.

All high-tech hype cycles must end, and usually when they do there’s a crash. Some pundits gloat at bad ideas that got funded and fell apart. The true believers set to building something durable from the remnants of the boom. In some cases, like the ’90s Internet hype, the outcome more than fulfills the promise, but few see it coming.

In the case of Big Data, this probably means less focus on back-end technologies like new types of storage or database frameworks, and a rethinking about how best to integrate human knowledge, algorithms and diverse sets of data.

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