Both Pointy Headed Bosses and Slashdot loooove talking about tools. As the posts generally show, both PHBs and Slashdoters have no clue about what Big Data is used for. It's all about the buzzwords and technology, not about use and utility. There are no references to any algorithms.
Heh. I've been doing big data since 2000. Fifteen years experience in a field that's five years old, I like to say. And let me say this: You nailed it. Your whole post, not just the part I quoted. I've used the tools, from Colt to R, and there is no substitute for the ability to analyze and match a business model, data system, algorithms, implementation, and business controls.
On the upside, give me (or, I'm guessing, you) a month or two to develop a big data strategy, and we'll generate large, measurable, improvement in the company's desired performance metric -- using whatever toolset the company is fawning over at the moment. It may not be what sells the PHBs, but it feeds the bulldog.
It is a shame, though, to see so many charlatans diverting so much revenue into ill-conceived projects. Alas.