In many instances the terms `big data` and `Hadoop` are reserved for conversations on business analytics. Instead, I posit that these technologies are most powerful when they are deployed as a way to both build new products, and improve existing ones. Measurement is a fundamental part of the process, but more importantly I will walk through an effective tool-chain that can be used to: a) build unique new products, based on data. b) test improvements to a product At Foursquare, we`ve used a Hadoop-based tool chain to build new products (like social-recommendations), and to improve existing features through initiatives such as experimentation, and offline data generation. These products and improvements are fundamental to our core business, yet their existence would not be possible without Hadoop. I will pull examples from Foursquare and other companies to demonstrate these points, and outline the infrastructure components needed to accomplish them.
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