Do we have the tools we need to navigate the New World of Data?

Last October at the PASS Summit we began discussing our strategy and product roadmap for Big Data including embracing Hadoop as part of our data platform and providing insights to all users on any data. This week at the Strata Conference, we will talk about the progress we have been making with Hortonworks and the Hadoop ecosystem to broaden the adoption of Hadoop and the unique opportunity for organizations to derive new insights from Big Data.

In my keynote tomorrow, I will discuss a question that I’ve been hearing a lot from the customers I’ve been talking to over the past 18 months, “Do we have the tools we need to navigate the New World of Data?” Organizations are making progress at learning how to refine vast amounts of raw data into knowledge to drive insight and action. The tools used to do this, thus far, are not very good at sharing the intermediate results to produce “Information piece parts” which can be combined into new knowledge.

I will share some of the innovative work we’ve been doing both at Microsoft and with members of the Hadoop community to help customers unleash the value of their data by allowing more users to derive insights by combining and refining data regardless of the scale and complexity of data they are working with. We are working hard to broaden the adoption of Hadoop in the enterprise by bringing the simplicity and manageability of Windows to Hadoop based solutions, and we are expanding the reach with a Hadoop based service on Windows Azure. Hadoop is a great tool but, to fully realize the vision of a modern data platform, we also need a marketplace to search, share and use 1st and 3rd party data and services. And, to bring the power to everyone in the business, we need to connect the new big data ecosystem to business intelligence tools like PowerPivot and Power View.

There is an amazing amount of innovation going on throughout the ecosystem in areas like stream processing, machine learning, advanced algorithms and analytic languages and tools. We are working closely with the community and ecosystem to deliver an Open and Flexible platform that is compatible with Hadoop and works well with leading 3rd party tools and technologies enabling users of non-Microsoft technologies to also benefit from running their Hadoop based solutions on Windows and Azure.

We have recently reached a significant milestone in this journey, with our first series of contributions to the Apache Hadoop projects. Working with Hortonworks, we have submitted a proposal to the Apache Software Foundation for enhancements to Hadoop to run on Windows Server and are also in the process of submitting further proposals for a JavaScript framework and a Hive ODBC Driver.

The JavaScript framework simplifies programming on Hadoop by making JavaScript a first class programming language for developers to write and deploy MapReduce programs. The Hive ODBC Driver enables connectivity to Hadoop data from a wide range of Business Intelligence tools including PowerPivot for Excel.

In addition, we have also been working with several leading Big Data vendors like Karmasphere, Datameer and HStreaming and are excited to see them announce support for their Big Data solutions on our Hadoop based service on Windows Server & Windows Azure.

Just 10 years ago, most business data was locked up behind big applications. We are now entering a period where data and information become “first class” citizens. The ability to combine and refine these data into new knowledge and insights is becoming a key success factor for many ventures.

A modern data platform will provide new capabilities including data marketplaces which offer content, services, and models; and it will provide the tools which make it easy to derive new insights taking Business Intelligence to a whole new level.

This is an exciting time for us as we also prepare to launch our data platform that includes SQL Server 2012 and our Big Data investments. To learn more on what we are doing for Big Data you can visit