Big Data Analysis Field Expands with Launch of Google BigQuery

Google has announced that Google BigQuery, a web service that lets users do interactive analysis of massive data sets, is now available to the public.

According to Google, BigQuery Service allows users to run SQL-like queries against large data sets, with potentially billions of rows. The company says it works best for interactive analysis of very large data sets, typically using a small number of very large, append-only tables. Users can access BigQuery through a web UI called the BigQuery browser tool, the bq command-line tool, or by making calls to the REST API using a range of client libraries in languages such as Java, Python, and others.

Billed as enabling customers to "analyze terabytes of data with just a click of a button," the company says the data is secured, replicated across data centers, and can be easily exported. In a blog  this month, Ju-Kay Kwek, product manager, writes that since announcing a limited preview, "many businesses and developers have started using it for real-time big data analytics in the cloud," including Claritics, a social and mobile analytics vendor, and Crystalloids, an analytics firm located in Amsterdam.  Google had first unveiled BigQuery at Google I/O in May 2010, and then in November 2011 announced improvements including the addition of a GUI and a new REST API, and improvements in managing, securing, and sharing access to data tables in BigQuery. 

Developers and businesses can sign up for BigQuery online and query up to 100GB of data per month for free. For storing and analyzing data sets of up 2TB, users can take advantage of an introductory pricing plan, and for more than that, Google says they need to contact the company.

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