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Datameer Blog

Big Data – Crossing the Chasm in 2013!

By on December 19, 2012

It’s that time of year, when everyone breaks out their crystal ball. While I’ve never been one to follow the herd, this year, I couldn’t resist. We think 2013 is the year that Big Data will cross the chasm.

Let me explain.

This is a traditional technology hype cycle, according to Gartner.  It’s a “graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems and exploiting new opportunities.”

Interestingly, Gartner’s take on the hype cycle actually fits very well with Geoffrey Moore’s concept of Crossing the Chasm. You’ll notice the “Trough of Disillusionment” sits neatly atop the “chasm” Moore talks of. In both scenarios, the new technology must pull out of the trough or cross the chasm before it enters its Plateau of Productivity where the general masses adopt the previously hyped technology.


So why do we think 2013 is the year that Big Data will finally cross the chasm? Look here:


This is a chart from Google Trends, where the blue line represents the search term “Big Data”, and the red is “Hadoop”. We’d argue that Hadoop is the technical term that IT would mostly be concerned with, whereas Big Data is the term that line of business uses when they’re searching for the actual business use cases of Big Data. Starting in 2008, the chasm between the two began to widen.

If you look at the graph closely, Hadoop has enjoyed standard linear growth since about 2006, but its now flattening out. But that hockey stick that’s the term “Big Data” being searched? That’s exponential growth. The two are on an obvious collision course, and it’s in 2013 that the chasm will be crossed and Big Data will be the more often searched term. That’s when the majority of interest in Big Data will be driven from business instead of IT.

When we do in fact cross the chasm, conversations will be noticeably different. The industry will join Datameer in speaking the language of Big Data use cases and insights gained rather than the technical implementation details we’ve been bogged down with over the past few years.

At Datameer, we pride ourselves on leading that conversation of use cases. And from what we can tell, it’s working. In the past year alone, our revenue and team has grown consistently quarter over quarter, and we strongly believe its because of those Big Data use case conversations. It’s about all the greenfield opportunities out there.

2013 will be an interesting ride, no doubt, and it will be about vertical use cases. We’re ready for it. Are you?

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Stefan Groschupf

Stefan Groschupf

Stefan Groschupf is a big data veteran and serial entrepreneur with strong roots in the open source community. He was one of the very few early contributors to Nutch, the open source project that spun out Hadoop, which 10 years later, is considered a 20 billion dollar business. Open source technologies designed and coded by Stefan can be found running in all 20 of the Fortune 20 companies in the world, and innovative open source technologies like Kafka, Storm, Katta and Spark, all rely on technology Stefan designed more than a half decade ago. In 2003, Groschupf was named one of the most innovative Germans under 30 by Stern Magazine. In 2013, Fast Company named Datameer, one of the most innovative companies in the world. Stefan is currently CEO and Chairman of Datameer, the company he co-founded in 2009 after several years of architecting and implementing distributed big data analytic systems for companies like Apple, EMI Music, Hoffmann La Roche, AT&T, the European Union, and others. After two years in the market, Datameer was commercially deployed in more than 30 percent of the Fortune 20. Stefan is a frequent conference speaker, contributor to industry publications and books, holds patents and is advising a set of startups on product, scale and operations. If not working, Stefan is backpacking, sea kayaking, kite boarding or mountain biking. He lives in San Francisco, California.