Infochimps CEO Jim KaskadeI first came across Infochimps as they set about building one of the early Data Market offerings. I recorded a couple of podcasts with CTO and co-founder Flip Kromer over the years, in 2009 and 2012, tracking some of the ways in which the company and the market were evolving.

Since then the company has moved in a different direction, focusing far more attention upon the tools and services required to work with data, and far less upon offering a place for customers to find data. Infochimps was acquired by CSC last year, and dropped into the larger company’s big data business unit to accelerate it towards far greater market visibility and penetration.

In this podcast, I talk with Infochimps CEO Jim Kaskade. We quickly cover some of the history, before looking in more detail at the ways in which Infochimps/ CSC can differentiate itself in an increasingly crowded market. A degree of technology agnosticism clearly helps here, and Jim talks about the way in which his team will help customers deploy any Hadoop distribution rather than being tied (as Cloudera or Hortonworks would be) to the home-grown offering. We also discuss recent investment in the space, with Jim noting that — despite Cloudera’s recent $900 million round — CSC still has deeper pockets and a longer reach.

We touch upon Hadoop’s role within the growing big data ecosystem, asking if it’s as important as its backers tend to claim, and discuss the attributes of a successful move from the near-ubiquitous big data pilot project towards the far less common production deployment of a big data solution.