The hottest new thing in computing is big data. A Google search for this exact term yields 17,600,000 results. Below is an excerpt from a short article about the money raised by a company named 10gen that is a leader in this technology (see: Big Data Startup 10gen Raises $42 Million At A Half-Billion-Dollar Valuation)
If you aren't paying attention to a market called big data—and in particular a company called 10gen—then wake up! 10gen just raised a hefty $42 million—$73 million to date. Sources tell us its valuation is over half a billion dollars—in the range of $500 million to $550 million. The company wouldn't comment publicly on the valuation but does see itself "building a Red Hat-type of company" in the database market. This is upwards of a $1 billion opportunity," says 10gen president Max Schireson....10gen makes something called MongoDB, an open-source NoSQL database. NoSQL, a new approach to databases that's better adapted to the massive amounts of data websites generate, will be a $3.4 billion market by 2018....It's growing by 21 percent a year. While official comparative stats are hard to come by because all the NoSQL players are private, 10gen says it's got about half the NoSQL market wrapped up already. This is based on other indicators, such as how often LinkedIn profiles mention MongoDB.10gen has over 500 paying customers, including 5,000 customers for its database-monitoring service, it says. It also has partnerships with Amazon, Microsoft Azure, Red Hat, VMware and others. NoSQL is one of the technologies that is powering the big data phenom. It is also the go-to type of database for Web and cloud applications. It doesn't replace traditional databases like Oracle—it's a whole new way to deal with data. Big data lets applications cheaply and easily scoop up and analyze massive amounts of information from all sorts of sources.
I don't think that "big data" has had much of an impact on healthcare computing yet but that's probably because healthcare is not generally interested in the the cloud (see: The New Computing Paradigm: Multiple Devices Connected by the Cloud). What I do know is that healthcare generates a massive amount of information. Once some of it gravitates to the cloud, the notion of big data, MopngoDB, and NoSQL may start to make more sense. Also interesting in the article is the fact that the size of MongoDB market is based in part by the number of people who mention it in their LinkedIn profiles.
::Update on 5/31/2012 @ 3:105p.m. ET. See: A Wave of Analytic Innovation