Big Data has crossed the chasm from hype to everyday reality remarkably quickly. Its adoption has been accelerated by hungry data warehousers using big data techniques to get better answers from their data mining activities, The Register.

Attending the TM Big Data InFocus 2014 conference in Amsterdam, it became abundantly clear that hype and promise-laden claims by vendors of big data software and storage were simply not there. The language and the approach has changed about face in just a couple of years.

The surface cliches are still there (“From Information to Actionable Insight”, for example) but they are realistic for the big data miners attending the conference.

The presentations mainly focused on retail and telco suppliers, and there were also sessions on big data and financial services. These are three areas where there are millions of customer records and a great need to maximize overall customer spend by financial, retail and telco service suppliers.

What seemed odd, at first, was that big data and Hadoop were not the first words on everyone’s minds. It was just there, a third leg added to the data warehousing and business intelligence stool. The concepts of getting intelligence from data could have been borrowed wholesale from a DW/BI conference five years ago.

There’s nothing wrong with that. The data miners basically want the same thing now as they wanted then; the ability to comb through masses of data and get actionable insights from it.

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