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Keep an Eye on the emerging Open-Source Analytics Stack | Smart Data CollectiveThis post is contributed by Revolution Analytics CEO Norman Nie, and cross-posted from the Future of Open Source Forum. A lot of attention has been focused recently on Big Data, and rightly so: Big Data is a Big Deal. (See this LinuxInsider article, Big Data, Big Open Source Tools, for a compehensive overview of Big Data issues.) But what, exactly, is Big Data? Ed Dumbill of O’Reilly defines Big Data as “data that becomes large enough that it cannot be processed using conventional methods”. In that same article, Dumbill coins a term to represent the emerging software infrastructure — typically open source, distributed, and running on commodity hardware — for handling Big Data: “A stack for big data systems has emerged, comprising layers of Storage, MapReduce and Query (SMAQ).” Because while much attention has been paid to storing, organizing, and accessing Big Data, the real value of data is in what you can do with it. To be fair, the answer is yes — sort of.