Google BigQuery helps companies of any size analyse their datasets

So-called “big data” – the concept of us all creating an ever-increasing amount of data and requiring it processed and analysed – is a hot topic at the moment, both among big companies and startups looking to get an edge in the sector.

Google have announced the availability of BigQuery, a web service designed for everyone from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies to help them analyse their massive datasets. A preview of the service was made available at the Google IO conference in 2010, and now anyone can get involved with its new UI and REST APIs. Other new functionality includes JOIN statement and support for Google Cloud Storage data export.

“We’re looking forward to helping businesses innovate faster by harnessing their own large data sets” writes BigQuery’s product manager, Ju-kay Kwek. “[We’re] putting one of Google's most powerful data analysis systems into the hands of more companies of all sizes.”

Use cases for the service vary from quick analysis of a dataset in a one-off case through to heavy API-based usage. The service is currently free (with 30 days’ notice before any charges are brought into effect), and developers can get involved on the Google Code site.

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