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Microsoft Business Intelligence Tools for Excel Analysts by Bernard Wehbe, Jared Decker, Michael Alexander

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APPENDIX A: Understanding the Big Data Toolset

Big data refers to a broad set of tools that are designed to work with large data volumes. These tools are gaining popularity because they solve the limitations of traditional tools by scaling up on hardware and sharing the workload across many linked computers. Using this divide-and-conquer approach allows big data technologies to accomplish tasks that are not feasible otherwise.

When it comes to analytics, there are some special considerations regarding big data. You need an easy way to access and navigate platforms without the need to spend precious time learning new programming languages such as Java. In the past few years several tools have come available that offer a big data SQL solution: a tool that sits on top of a big data platform and allows you to write SQL queries against the big data engine.

In this appendix we review the big data SQL tools on the market now, giving you a sense of the big data landscape. You’ll also discover how you can connect to those tools from Excel.

Big Data SQL Offerings

There are several big data offerings that support a relatively easy-to-use SQL engine on top of Hadoop or another similar-style platform.

note.eps We cover the talked-about entrants into the market as of this writing. Note, though, that this space is quite new and many companies are jumping into it almost daily.

Most of these technologies ...

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