Hadoop Meetup Feb. 15 Looks to Connect Big Data Community in Boston

Sometimes the most interesting gatherings have the strangest names. What does “Boston Hadoop Meetup Group” say to you? To me, it says “future of big data in Boston.”

Hadoop is an open source data-analysis platform that is gaining popularity for helping companies and IT departments crunch huge amounts of information. The Hadoop meetup group in Boston, like those in other cities, has been around for a couple of years, but until now it hasn’t been very active. That’s about to change on February 15, from 6:00-9:00 pm, when the group is getting together at Fidelity in Boston to talk about the technology and how it can be used.

Spearheading the new effort is Hadapt, a big-data software startup in Cambridge, MA, that combines Hadoop with advanced database technology. Hadapt moved to the Boston area from New Haven, CT, in early November after raising a Series A venture round from Bessemer Venture Partners and Norwest Venture Partners.

Hadapt will join Cloudera and MapR, other players in the sector, in giving informal talks at the meetup, which is expected to draw upwards of 50 developers, entrepreneurs, and folks from big companies like Akamai, IBM, and EMC/VMware. “It’s important to build awareness about Hadoop and bring together people already working on it,” says Justin Borgman, the CEO of Hadapt. “We don’t yet have a community built around it in this city.”

The meetup is the latest sign of a critical mass of interest building around Boston in big data and analytics. Earlier that same day (the 15th), MassTLC is organizing an event around the impact of big data on the tech industry. Last month, startups Chart.io, Kinvey, and Session M organized a very well attended meetup around data analytics and visualization. And earlier this week, Vertica (acquired by HP last year) said it is relocating to Cambridge and setting up a center for big data analytics and community outreach.

Bryan Stevenson, chief technology officer at Cambridge-based startup InsightSquared, says he has just joined the Hadoop meetup group and that “there’s a lot of buzz around the technology in general.” InsightSquared, which helps staffing, recruiting, and software businesses analyze and display their data, has been experimenting with Hadoop. Stevenson, who’s relatively new to Boston, says it’s important to have a peer group so he (and others) can “ask the stupid questions.”

Hadapt, for its part, has grown to about 20 employees and is currently hiring. The Yale University spinout’s software is in late-stage beta trials now and will be generally available later this year, Borgman says.

Trending on Xconomy