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Hortonworks’ Public Debut Hides Big Questions for Big Data

It would be easy to look at investors’ early enthusiasm for the newly public big data darling Hortonworks and conclude that the opportunity to cash in on the much-hyped Hadoop software platform has arrived.

The Palo Alto-based company became the first developer of a commercial version of the open-source data-storage technology to go public when it raised $100 million on Dec. 12. The company priced shares at $16, above the anticipated range. Shares popped 65 percent on the first day and settled at $26.38.

But it is still unclear which companies investors should bet on to capture the lion’s share of the profits in big data, and specifically Hadoop.

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Tableau sells software on a perpetual license basis, not on a subscription basis, as an earlier version of this story mistakenly stated.

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“You’ll see apps bloom up the stack, but we’re very early in the technology’s maturity,” said John Schroeder, CEO of MapR.