You don’t see many demos like the one given by Shawn Bice (Microsoft) today in the Regent Parlor of the New York Hilton, at Strata NYC. “Drive Smarter Decisions with Microsoft Big Data,” was different.
For starters – everything worked like clockwork. Live demos of new products are notorious for failing on-stage, even if they work in production. And although Microsoft was presenting about a Java-based platform at a largely open-source event… it was standing room only, with the crowd overflowing out the doors.
Shawn demonstrated working with Apache Hadoop from Excel, through Power Pivot, to Hive (with sampling-driven early results!?) and out to import third party data-sets. To get the full effect of what he did, you’re going to have to view a screencast or try it out but to give you the idea of what the first proper interface on Hadoop feels like…
There was a comedian who had a bit about… remember when you first saw Jurassic Park for the first time? No matter how old you were, your child-like response was, “DINOSAURS ARE REAL!!!!!!$!!$##!” Our reaction to Jurassic Park was CGI technology disrupting cinema, provoking the same kind of reaction early cinema had on viewers who felt real concern that the horse or train approaching would run them over. At least thats what I learned wasting a lottery-funded academic scholarship on film classes at a state university before having the good sense to fail out and use my time productively.
That feeling you got when you saw your first CGI raptor is what Microsoft’s demo was like, except it went… “HADOOP IS IN EXCEL!!$%!%!%!$????!!!”
This is a serious thing for me, because I hooked up Pig and Excel years ago:
To put this into perspective:
I have a raptor named lame-o-saurus in a Cowboy Curtis hat permanently tattood on my body. Again, we resort to visualization (mind the hair):
Visicalc… we’ve come such a long way.