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The End of Big Data

« Current 2022

The data industry has long celebrated impressive technologies that let us work with bigger data, faster, and in real time. Over the last few years, however, the most important data companies have taught us a different lesson on how to be successful: Be boring.

These companies found ways for us to do the same things we were doing before, but in ways that were unquestionably better. For example, Snowflake, the most successful modern data company, found its success by building a database that functioned like a run-of-the-mill analytical warehouse—except it was faster, cheaper, and nearly infinitely scalable. Over time, these improvements opened up new opportunities for both Snowflake and the broader ecosystem that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

In this talk, I’ll share why the next wave of successful data companies will follow the same pattern. Rather than trying to change how we work, they’ll find ways to unambiguously improve it. They won’t invent a new way of working; instead, they’ll make our existing queries cheaper, our data pipelines faster, and our data tools more collaborative. And that’s a good thing: It’s these improvements, and the changes that follow in their wake, that will finally get “Big Data” to live up to its promise.

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