So before I settled down with my favorite Friday evening beverage, I decided to jot down a few observations around last week’s activities – namely the Strata conference.

I have personally been going to high-tech conferences for more years than I am willing to divulge and somehow, nothing seems to change. Attendance remains around 90% men, 5% women and 5% unknown… Chachkas are still big, although I continue to wonder how many pens and coffee mugs one might use or even want. I thought the show buzz was very interesting – now that BIG DATA has arrived, the world will be a safe place again as enterprises can now crawl through a bazillion times more information than before. I thought – WOW, very cool stuff. But after thinking it through, I became puzzled by this take-away. Specifically, why would I want to collect a bazillion times more information only to try stuffing it through a pipe the size of a garden hose (aka traditional BI/Data Warehouse/RDBMS stacks)? I am thinking all that horse power with no place to go feels like one step forward and a dozen steps backwards. I believe there is a better way to uncover the killer app that will allow your company to harness the power of BIG DATA and move the organization forward. But from what I heard this week, the answer is clearly missing. To unleash the power of BIG DATA and turn it into more than a promise, the garden hose circumference has to be significantly expanded by using technology that is designed to do the job of unstructured search and discover. The technology of choice for the BIG DATA job is search.