Is Big Data The Most Hyped Technology Ever?

I read an article today on the topic of Big Data. In the article, the author claims that the term Big Data is the most hyped technology ever, even compared to such things as cloud computing and Y2K. I thought this was a bold claim and one that is testable. Using Google Trends, I looked at the popularity of three IT terms to understand the relative hype of each (as measured by number of searches on the topic): Web 2.0, cloud computing and big data. The chart from Google Trends appears below.

We can learn a couple of things from this graph. First, the interest in Big Data continues to grow since its first measurable growth appeared in early 2011. Still, the number of searches for the respective terms clearly shows that Web 2.0 and cloud computing received more searches than Big Data. While we don’t know if interest in Big Data will continue to grow, Google Trends, in fact, predicts very a very slow growth rate for Big Data through the end of 2015.

Second, the growth rates of Web 2.0 and cloud computing are faster compared to the growth rate of Big Data, showing that public interest grew more quickly for those terms than for Big Data. Interest in Web 2.0 reached its maximum in a little over 2 years since its initial ascent. Interest in cloud computing reached its peak in about 3.5 years. Interest in Big Data has been growing steadily for over 3.7 years.

One thing of interest. For these three technology terms, the growth of the two latter technology terms started at the peak of the previous term. As one technology becomes commonplace, another takes its place.

So, is Big Data the most hyped technology ever? No.

1 Comment

  1. Don’t use absolute numbers.

    How many people use websites (that were candidates for web 2.0)?

    How many companies can outsource their IT?

    How many companies have data that actually is too big to analyze traditionally?

    Using a relative measute, big data is much more hyped than the other examples.

    And worse, it fails to deliver. Web 2.0 delivered from the very beginning.

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