The Big Data Review: Facebook Ads, MapR and Cloudera’s $65M Thursday

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The past week had some rather noteworthy tidbits coming out of the big data space. For one, Facebook demonstrated that it takes more than just technical skills to make analytics work for your bottom line.

We’ve learned that the social media giant agreed to pay $20 million to settle a class-action suit that accused it of using members’ personal information without their consent in its Sponsored Stories.  This relatively new ad format employs word-to-mouth-esque recommendations that are automatically generated by seemingly arbitrary activities, such as clicking a Like button. Fans and friends can then view these promotions.

Facebook obliged to compensate a portion of its users, and update the system so it’s more clear whether a certain action might produce a Sponsored Story.

There’s some big news in the enterprise space as well. MapR announced that it’s opening up a new office in London to serve as its EMEA headquarters. The rationale behind the expansion is fairly simple: MapR is one of the fastest growing players in the cutthroat Hadoop market, and a sizable portion of its clients and partners are based in Europe.

The competition became even much more intense this week after Cloudera, a rivaling big data firm, sent out word of its massive Series E funding round. The company raised $65 million from Accel Partners and its existing investors: Greylock Partners, Ignition Partners, In-Q-Tel, and Meritech Capital Partners.

John Furrier discussed the story right out of the gate, questioning whether this rapid growth is sustainable for Cloudera on the long run. He predicted that company culture will play a big role in the vendor’s transformation: will it be able to stay on the high horse and preserve its current approach, or will it start drifting in a different direction as it expands?