Provide a detailed summary of the following web content, including what type of content it is (e.g. news article, essay, technical report, blog post, product documentation, content marketing, etc). If the content looks like an error message, respond 'content unavailable'. If there is anything controversial please highlight the controversy. If there is something surprising, unique, or clever, please highlight that as well: Title: Big Data Is Dead Site: For more than a decade now, the fact that people have a hard time gaining actionable insights from their data has been blamed on its size. “Your data is too big for your puny systems,” was the diagnosis, and the cure was to buy some new fancy technology that can handle massive scale. Of course, after the Big Data task force purchased all new tooling and migrated from Legacy systems, people found that they still were having trouble making sense of their data. They also may have noticed, if they were really paying attention, that data size wasn’t really the problem at all. The world in 2023 looks different from when the Big Data alarm bells started going off. The data cataclysm that had been predicted hasn’t come to pass. Data sizes may have gotten marginally larger, but hardware has gotten bigger at an even faster rate. Vendors are still pushing their ability to scale, but practitioners are starting to wonder how any of that relates to their real world problems. Who am I and why do I care? For more than 10 years, I was one of the acolytes beating the Big Data drum. I was a founding engineer on Google BigQuery, and as the only engineer on the team that actually liked public speaking, I got to travel to conferences around the world to help explain how we were going to help folks withstand the coming data explosion. I used to query a petabyte live on stage, demonstrating that no matter how big and bad your data was, we would be able to handle it, no problem. This photo was me at Big Data Spain in 2012, warning of the dangers of giant datasets and promising relief if they just use our technology. Over the next few years I spent a lot of time debugging problems that customers were having with BigQuery. I co-wrote two books and really dug into how the product was being used. In 2018, I switched to product management, and my job was split between talking to customers, many of whom were the largest enterprises in the world, and analyzing product metrics. The most surprising thing that I learned was that most of the people using “Big Query” don’t really have Big Data. Even the ones who do tend to use workloads that only use a small fraction of their dataset sizes. When BigQuery came out, it was like science fiction for many people-- you literally couldn’t process data that fast in any other way. However, what was science fiction is now commonplace, and more traditional ways of processing your data have caught up. About this post This post will make the case that the era of Big Data is over. It had a good run, but now we can stop worrying about data size and focus on how we’re going to use it to make better decisions. I’ll show a number of graphs; these are all hand-drawn based on memory. If I did have access to the exact numbers, I wouldn’t be able to share them. But the important part is the shape, rather than the exact values. The data behind the graphs come from having analyzed query logs, deal post-mortems, benchmark results (published and unpublished), customer support tickets, customer conversations, service logs, and published blog posts, plus a bit of intuition. The obligatory intro slide For the last 10 years, every pitch deck for every big data product starts with a slide that looks something like this: We used a version of this slide for years at Google. When I moved to SingleStore, they were using their own version that had the same chart. I’ve seen several other vendors with something similar. This is the “scare” slide. Big Data is coming! You need to buy what I’m selling! The message was that old ways of handling data were not going to work. The acceleration of data generation was going to leave the data systems of yesteryear stuck in the mud, and anyone who embraced new ideas would be able to leapfrog their competitors. Of course, just because the amount of data being generated is increasing doesn’t mean that it becomes a problem for everyone; data is not distributed equally. Most applications do not need to process massive amounts of data. This has led to a resurgence in data management systems with traditional architectures; SQLite, Postgres, MySQL are all growing strongly, while “NoSQL” and even “NewSQL” systems are stagnating. MongoDB is the highest ranked NoSQL or otherwise scale-out database, and while it had a nice run-up over the years, it has been declining slightly recently, and hasn’t really made much headway against MySQL or Postgres, two resolutely monolithic databases. If Big Data were really taking over, you’d expect to see something different after all these years. Of course, the picture looks different in analytical systems, but in OLAP you see a massive shift from on-premise to cloud, and there aren’t really any scale-up cloud analytical systems to compare against. Most people don’t have that much data The intended takeaway from the “Big Data is coming” chart was that pretty soon, everyone will be inundated by their data. Ten years in, that future just hasn’t materialized. We can validate this several ways: looking at data (quantitatively), asking people if it is consistent with their experience (qualitatively), and thinking it through from first principles (inductively). When I worked at BigQuery, I spent a lot of time looking at customer sizing. The actual data here is very sensitive, so I can’t share any numbers directly. However, I can say that the vast majority of customers had less than a terabyte of data in total data storage. There were, of course, customers with huge amounts of data, but most organizations, even some fairly large enterprises, had moderate data sizes. Customer data sizes followed a power-law distribution. The largest customer had double the storage of the next largest customer, the next largest customer had half of that, etc. So while there were customers with hundreds of petabytes of data, the sizes trailed off very quickly. There were many thousands of customers who paid less than $10 a month for storage, which is half a terabyte. Among customers who were using the service heavily, the median data storage size was much less than 100 GB. We found further support for this when talking to industry analysts (Gartner, Forrester, etc). We would extol our ability to handle massive data sets, and they would shrug. “This is nice,” they said, “but the vast majority of enterprises have data warehouses smaller than a terabyte.” The general feedback we got talking to folks in the industry was that 100 GB was the right order of magnitude for a data warehouse. This is where we focused a lot of our efforts in benchmarking. One of our investors decided to find out how big analytical data sizes really are and surveyed his portfolio companies, some which were post-exit (either had IPO’d or been acquired by larger organizations). These are tech companies, which are likely going to skew towards larger data sizes. He found that the largest B2B companies in his portfolio had around a terabyte of data, while the largest B2C companies had around 10 Terabytes of data. Most, however, had far less data. In order to understand why large data sizes are rare, it is helpful to think about where the data actually comes from. Imagine you’re a medium sized business, with a thousand customers. Let’s say each one of your customers places a new order every day with a hundred line items. This is relatively frequent, but it is still probably less than a megabyte of data generated per day. In three years you would still only have a gigabyte, and it would take millenia to generate a terabyte. Alternately, let’s say you have a million leads in your marketing database, and you’re running dozens of campaigns. Your leads table is probably still less than a gigabyte, and tracking each lead across each campaign still probably is only a few gigabytes. It is hard to see how this adds to massive data sets under reasonable scaling assumptions. To give a concrete example, I worked at SingleStore in 2020-2022, when it was a fast-growing Series E company with significant revenue and a unicorn valuation. If you added up the size of our finance data warehouse, our customer data, our marketing campaign tracking, and our service logs, it was probably only a few gigabytes. By any stretch of the imagination, this is not big data. The storage bias in separation of storage and compute. Modern cloud data platforms all separate storage and compute, which means that customers are not tied to a single form factor. This, more than scale out, is likely the single most important change in data architectures in the last 20 years. Instead of “shared nothing” architectures which are hard to manage in real world conditions, shared disk architectures let you grow your storage and your compute independently. The rise of scalable and reasonably fast object storage like S3 and GCS meant that you could relax a lot of the constraints on how you built a database. In practice, data sizes increase much faster than compute sizes. While popular descriptions of the benefits of storage and compute separation make it sound like you may choose to scale either one at any time, the two axes are not really equivalent. Misunderstanding of this point leads to a lot of the discussion of Big Data, because techniques for dealing with large compute requirements are different from dealing with large data. It is helpful to explore why this may be the case. All large data sets are generated over time. Time is almost always an axis in a data set. New orders come in every day. New taxi rides. New logging records. New games being played. If a business is static, neither growing or shrinking, data will increase linearly with time. What does this mean for analytic needs? Clearly data storage needs will increase linearly, unless you decide to prune the data (more on this later). But compute needs will likely not need to change very much over time; most analysis is done over the recent data. Scanning old data is pretty wasteful; it doesn’t change, so why would you spend money reading it over and over again? True, you might want to keep it around just in case you want to ask a new question of the data, but it is pretty trivial to build aggregations containing the important answers. Very often when a data warehousing customer moves from an environment where they didn’t have separation of storage and compute into one where they do have it, their storage usage grows tremendously, but their compute needs tend to not really change. In BigQuery, we had a customer who was one of the largest retailers in the world. They had an on-premise data warehouse that was around 100 TB of data. When they moved to the cloud, they ended up with 30 PB of data, a 300x increase. If their compute needs had also scaled up by a similar amount, they would have been spending billions of dollars on analytics. Instead, they spent a tiny fraction of that amount. This bias towards storage size over compute size has a real impact in system architecture. It means that if you use scalable object stores, you might be able to use far less compute than you had anticipated. You might not even need to use distributed processing at all. Workload sizes are smaller than overall data sizes The amount of data processed for analytics workloads is almost certainly smaller than you think. Dashboards, for example, very often are built from aggregated data. People look at the last hour, or the last day, or the last week’s worth of data. Smaller tables tend to be queried more frequently, giant tables more selectively. A couple of years ago I did an analysis of BigQuery queries, looking at customers spending more than $1000 / year. 90% of queries processed less than 100 MB of data. I sliced this a number of different ways to make sure it wasn’t just a couple of customers who ran a ton of queries skewing the results. I also cut out metadata-only queries, which are a small subset of queries in BigQuery that don’t need to read any data at all. You have to go pretty high on the percentile range until you get into the gigabytes, and there are very few queries that run in the terabyte range. Customers with giant data sizes almost never queried huge amounts of data Customers with moderate data s