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BI Summit Roundup: Big Data Confusion Reigns

by Nick Heudecker  |  April 11, 2014  |  10 Comments

The Gartner BI Summits are an ideal venue to connect with vendors and end users not just in BI, but also the general Big Data space. Last week in Las Vegas I led two great roundtable discussions on the the Big Data Ecosystem. Interest was high: I was supposed to have a total of 28 attendees, but had 43. End users were happy to sit on the floor just to be part of the discussion.

The roundtables were also a great opportunity to collect some data. Clients are always interested in what other people are doing. The most revealing question was the current status of Big Data deployments:

Slide2

For all of the massive hype in the marketplace, only 12% (that’s 5 people) are in production. Even defining what “production” meant was challenging. If your Big Data project is impacting business processes or results, congratulations – you’re in production.

The core takeaway from the discussions was confusion. End users, particularly those on the business side, have difficulty differentiating between vendors, especially in the Hadoop space. There is also growing exhaustion around the data warehouse replacement marketing message. While some companies may be interested in exploring alternatives to their current data warehouse, most see a Hadoop-based solution as additive to what they’re running today.

Hadoop distributions have already started their descent into the Trough of Disillusionment according to the 2013 Hype Cycle for Big Data. This increasingly negative sentiment will likely push Hadoop distributions along the Hype Cycle curve in 2014.

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Nick Heudecker
Research Vice President
5 years at Gartner
19 years IT Industry

Nick Heudecker is an Analyst in Gartner's Research and Advisory Data Management group. Read Full Bio


Thoughts on BI Summit Roundup: Big Data Confusion Reigns


  1. Tom Deutsch says:

    Hi Nick – that is a pretty small sample to draw conclusions from, even with the known dynamic that adoption in this space can lag from geo to geo. Hype cycle issues are real, and lots of sloppy marketing processes are going to (unfortunately) come home to roost. Thanks for the post.

    • Nick Heudecker says:

      Hi Tom,

      Agreed on the sample size represented in the graphic, but the conclusions also come from multiple 1:1 conversations with end users and vendors, as well as offline discussions.

      The key thing about the Hype Cycle is it’s a natural progression. Hitting the Trough isn’t a bad thing unless the technology or concept never emerges from it. It is simply how technologies evolve in the marketplace.

      Thanks for your comments.

  2. […] But at last week’s Gartner BI Summit in Las Vegas research director Nick Heudecker came up with interesting results when he polled 43 attendees at his session: Only five (12 per cent) had a project in production. Twenty-eight per cent were planning, 18 per cent were piloting. Assuming they go ahead that would mean more than half see value. […]

  3. […] As it stands, it seems Hadoop will not replace the enterprise data warehouse, but rather augment it. It also appears that BI buyers looking for data warehousing tools are growing weary of having the Hadoop-replaces-warehouses conversation. […]

  4. […] As it stands, it seems Hadoop will not replace the enterprise data warehouse, but rather augment it. It also appears that BI buyers looking for data warehousing tools are growing weary of having the Hadoop-replaces-warehouses conversation. […]

  5. […] As it stands, it seems Hadoop will not replace the enterprise data warehouse, but rather augment it. It also appears that BI buyers looking for data warehousing tools are growing weary of having the Hadoop-replaces-warehouses conversation. […]

  6. […] As it stands, it seems Hadoop will not replace the enterprise data warehouse, but rather augment it. It also appears that BI buyers looking for data warehousing tools are growing weary of having the Hadoop-replaces-warehouses conversation. […]



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