Big Data: A Learning Journey


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As nearly everyone and her kindly grandmama knows by now, “big data” is, well, a big deal.

Big data is a broad term for data sets so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. Challenges include analysis, capture, data curation, search, sharing, storage, transfer, visualization, and information privacy. The term often refers simply to the use of predictive analytics or other certain advanced methods to extract value from data, and seldom to a particular size of data set. Accuracy in big data may lead to more confident decision making. And better decisions can mean greater operational efficiency, cost reduction and reduced risk.”

[…]

full at Wikipedia

One of the leading technology platforms for extracting insights from very large data sets is Apache’s Hadoop.  Other heavy hitters are MongoDB, Apache Cassandra and Apache Storm.

So you’ve read the articles and watched intriguing Youtube videos (such as the one shown below) about big data and are eager to dive in.

Where do you start?

My suggestion is that you take full advantage of the learning tools made available by one of the leading Hadoop providers, Cloudera,  Hortonworks, Microsoft or Amazon.

Of course, Hadoop isn’t the final word on big data analytics but it’s a good place to start and Cloudera provides a downloadable virtual machine (along with corresponding guidance)  that can help you learn the basics.

In future posts, I’ll be walking through the learning process, detailing my experience to (hopefully) help others who’re motivated to become adept in this critical technology.