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HP and Oracle Hope to Make Sense of Big Data

iStock 000016740032XSmallBig data is a term that's been bandied about with relative ease recently, but if you want proof that it's more than marketing hype, just look at the recent purchases by HP and Oracle.

Data is exploding in the enterprise and on the Internet. When you have 800 million people or so on Facebook sharing content, it illustrates clearly just how content is exploding all around us whether you realize it or not.

With this data explosion, it becomes increasingly important to be able to pull information from this mass of information and find ways to make sense of it all. The bigger your data pile, the more difficult it is to find the nuggets that could be most important to your business.

It's a problem that the federal government faces all the time on so many levels, whether it's finding terrorists threats or making sense of the latest economic information, and it's just as important for you inside your organization to make sense of your information.

HP must think so because big data was really what Leo Apotheker must have been thinking about when he spent $10 billion to purchase Autonomy, a company that is probably best known for search, but also has a host of tools for managing and understanding data. Apotheker won't be around to see that vision come to fruition, having been fired and replaced by former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, but it was clearly what he had in mind when he decided to abandon the PC business and move in this direction.

Meanwhile, just this week Oracle bought enterprise search platform vendor Endeca, which has created a search platform on which you can build applications to help make sense of all that unstructured data.

As Lee Dallas points out on the Big Men on Content blog, it's easy to conclude that this deal was a direct response to the HP purchase, but it's probably due more to overall trends in the marketplace that both companies are smart enough to have observed and want to take advantage of.

The fact that two large enterprise vendors went after the same type of company is certainly interesting, and it proves just how important it is to to be able to search your vast stores of content and data to find the information that matters.

As somebody on the outside watching all of this, you may be intrigued by the ideas too, but have no clear idea what it means for your organization. Don't be afraid to seek out third parties to help you make sense of the trends and what they mean to your organization.

Whether we're talking data analytics, business intelligence, data visualization or enterprise search; there's a lot going on and it's not always easy to make sense of it all.

One thing is clear though, your unstructured data pile is growing and you need to find ways to get at that data and put it to work for your company, regardless of the vendor you choose to help you do that.
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