Some people predict 2013 will be the year Hadoop becomes mainstream. Such an occurrence will only be possible if the technology trickles down to a broader base of users and lowers many of the barriers to adoption it carries today. A major limitation of big data, after all, is that the technologies used to analyze it are not easy to learn. It doesn’t have to be that way, and this research note looks in detail at how components of technologies like Hadoop are finding their way into tools that target less-sophisticated users — from business users to receptionists to high school students. Thanks to cloud-based services, data visualization tools and more, analytics can be made easier, and maybe even fun.