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Cloudera co-founder examines perils and promise of Big Data

An interview on Forbes with Cloudera co-founder Mike Olson highlights some of the pluses and drawbacks of Big Data. You can take all the caveats about vested interest from a cloud company as read, of course; he has some good points to make.

His organisation was one of the first to be involved with the technology, and he still has some reservations. It depends heavily on a complex HDFS file system, if the data involved is to be spread across multiple sources but remain available, for example – although open source developments have gone some way to addressing this difficulty by adding the right tools.

More important than this and the understanding of Hadoop, though, are his thoughts on what the technology can offer. He points to medical and social advances happening purely because someone can take a massive overview of what’s happening from a global standpoint, which wouldn’t be possible without the information and analytics that make up Big Data.

Given the general public’s scepticism about what “they” know about us and how commercial and government organisations can use the data, it might be good if we could see more about the positive benefits.