In business publications and IT trade journals, the buzz about “big data” challenges is nearly deafening. Rapidly growing volumes of data – from transactional systems like enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and non-transactional sources such as web logs, customer call center records, and video images – are everywhere. A tsunami of data, some experts call it. Most companies know how to collect, store, and analyze their operational data. But these new multi-structured data types are often too variable and dynamic to be costeffectively captured in a traditional data schema using only a standard query language (SQL) for analytics.