If I had a dollar for every time I’ve written about a company that promises to deliver “big data for all” or “big data no data scientist required” or some variation thereof, I’d be rich.
OK, maybe not rich, but I could foot the bill for a pretty nice dinner.
Big promises and big ambitions aren’t a bad thing. After all, if technology vendors are hard at work trying to make data driven insights accessible to more people, then maybe everyone from medical researchers to retailers to school teachers will be able to leverage big data to make the world a better place, right?
That being said, here’s a question: Who is the “all” that is supposed to be able to glean data intelligence without needing a data scientist? The boutique owner who wants to know how many midi skirts, and in which colors, she needs to order for the fall? The practicing physician who would like to cut the time it usually takes to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis from nine months to a few weeks? The guidance counselor who lies awake at night wondering how he might discern between patterns of behavior that suggest ADD versus something a kid can “grow out of”?
Adatao = Data from Alpha to Omega
“That’s what we’re aiming for,” says Chris Nguyen, co-founder and CEO of Adatao, a much heralded startup that just received $13 million in new funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Ventures and Bloomberg beta. These venture capitalists are betting big that Adatao can deliver.
Marc Andreessen, one of only six thought leaders chosen for the Worldwide Web Hall of Fame, says that he was “blown away” when he saw what Nguyen and his team had built, adding that Adatao was designing the future of big data.
Needless to say, after hearing this, we were compelled to find out more about “Big Data 2.0” as Nguyen refers to Adatao in a blogpost.
Who Is the “All” in Big Data for All?
“Forgive us for being skeptical,” we apologized before we asked Nguyen this question, “Who is the 'all' that you’re referring to when you say 'big data insights for all'?"
Nguyen confirmed our doubts, no apologies made or required. “That’s the vision,” he explained. But for now “all” refers to data scientists, data engineers and business analysts. Up until now, they haven’t had the tools they need to work together.
The "all" in "big data for all,” that non-data workers envision, is “big data for normal people.” Though we’ve seen it written that Adatao provides that, the truth is that it’s more than a decade away, according to Nguyen.
What Is “Big Data 2.0”?
“It’s big data made useful,” he says. “Up until now 'big data' has meant storage, dumping a bunch of data into HDFS.”