This Picture Tells the Big Data Story

Dave Feinleib
Excuse me for stating the obvious: but the big data ecosystem is big and getting bigger. Just ask David Feinleib, an investor, advisor and serial entrepreneur. Feinleib is the author of Big Data Demystified and creator of The Big Data Landscape — an infographic of key players in the big data space.

Feinleib released the latest version of the visualization, which includes companies in the infrastructure and applications space, at the Big Data Landscape Conference 2014 in San Francisco in late January.

It's a Big (Data) World

Like Scott Brinker's Marketing Technology Landscape, the infographic is a work in progress: With the speed of acquisitions and new entries into the market these days, it's hard to keep the players straight — much less identify the leaders in the big data market. Chalk it up to the vitality of the big data space.

But pictures always tell an interesting story, so take a look. And for more detailed information on the top players, Feinleib has created The Big Data 100.

The Big Data Landscape 2014 Edition includes mobile analytics firm Flurry and Big Data discovery firm Recommind, which are expected to go public this year. It also includes companies like Splunk, an operational intelligence vendor with a market capitulation of more than $7 billion. Feinleib created the first big data infographic in 2012 following Splunk's initial public offering and the attention it focused on big data.

Click on the image to enlarge.

the big data landscape 2014

But is so much choice a good thing? At the O'Reilly Strata conference in Santa Clara, Calif. earlier this month, one of the sessions specifically focused on navigating the big data landscape. And the description of the session makes it clear that options can be overwhelming:

The wonderful thing about big data vendors is that there’s so many of them. Not just the traditional big software players, but a vibrant ecosystem of startups offering innovative data solutions. Unfortunately, the terrible thing about big data vendors is that there’s so many of them."

Which Vendor to Choose?

Edd Dumbill, vice president of strategy for Silicon Valley Data Science, and founding chair of the Strata Conference, told conference attendees that "Data attracts data" — and that they should make their big data vendor decisions "with the future in mind." His other bits of wisdom:

  • Test, don't just trust what vendors say
  • Open source made big data industry possible
  • Experimentation must be cheap and quick — and should not break things
  • We're at a Cambrian explosion of options with big data vendors: You need a framework for making tech adoption choices
  • Understand your business objectives. Drive choices from your requirements.