Big Data Bits Data for All Edition

So this week’s edition of Big Data Bits is all about A Players and it comes in two parts.

The first part we’re calling Big Data for All because it features big data insight enablers like Platfora, FirstRain, Tableau and Birst. Part two will provide updates on Hortonworks, Data Torrent, SAP HANA and Snap Logic. 

We’ve all heard of the democratization of big data. The idea is to give business users the ability to analyze and ask question of their data without any special skills. It should also follow that this same set of users should be able to easily understand the answers they get whether they are delivered in written reports or beautiful, flexible visualizations.

Platfora 3.5 Helps Biz Users Make Decisions Grounded in Data

Platfora wants to be the application that business users turn to when they want to intelligently discover and analyze critical big data workloads that previously were impossible or impractical to uncover.

It sits on top of Hadoop and not only manages big data, but it also makes it fast and easy to analyze using familiar tools like R and SQL-like queries.

The company has just announced the general availability of a Platfora Analytics 3.5. The new release includes programmatic query access, bulk data export and key visualization enhancements. It helps users across the enterprise, from data scientists to line-of-business professionals, to work natively with data in Hadoop to achieve faster insights and get more value from the combination/integration of their transactional, customer interaction and machine data.

It can then help recommendation engines and production systems do things like take an insight such as “people who buy toothpaste and toothbrushes might be open to an offer for shaving cream” and then offer the appropriate incentive. Similarly, it can observe data generated by someone who is likely to commit fraud and deny them access to credit.

Platfora’s latest release includes a completely new and improved user interface with 20 new enhancements, bulk data export and data connectors that allow users to pull in data from applications like Salesforce and so on.

FirstRain Goes Mobile First

Knowing your customer has always been key to making sales and it’s never been as possible to know as much about them as in the age of big data.

FirstRain, a San Mateo, Calif.-based provider of Personal Business Analytics™ has announced the general availability of its third generation of mobile apps that promises to make it easier for sales teams to generate greater revenues. The company offers cloud-based solutions which mine the business web and social data and then leverage patented algorithms to extract critical developments and visualizations which sales teams can access via their mobile devices.

The updated versions of the mobile apps include a social sharing functionality and a new contextual layer that gives users more information about the data they receive. The updated versions are available for the iPhone, iPad and Android phones. The company has introduced a Windows Phone 8 App as well. If you haven’t seen FirstRain before, it’s definitely worth a look.

Tableau’s Data Democratization Leads to Record Growth

It used to take a master mathematician, brainy statistician or some kind of other wizard to glean important insights from data. They were the ones who created the algorithms, crunched the numbers and held the keys to the kingdom.

And while that’s still often the case, it won’t be so for long if Tableau has anything to do with it. The company says that there are seven words that drive everything that they do: “We help people see and understand data.”

How’s it going?

Last week, for the very first time, Gartner not only named them as one of the top ten 10 business intelligence and analytics vendors in terms of worldwide software revenue and market share but also announced that they were the fastest growing. So while stalwarts like SAP, Oracle, IBM and SAS still lead the pack, it’s now official that Tableau is quickly catching up. Not just that, but earlier this year Gartner not only put them in the leaders quadrant for business intelligence and analytic platforms, but also ranked them first in ability to execute.

Birst Brings Analytics to the Fingertips of NetSuite Users

Enterprise users of ERP and financial systems don’t usually get business intelligence from their data very fast. They typically have to make a request and then wait until an analyst comes back to them with a report. By then the moment (or even day or week) of opportunity has past and the impact of taking an action is greatly diminished.

NetSuite users may not have to deal with such latency any more because they will now find a tab for BI tool Birst Express on their screens. Birst brings self-service analytics into the Enterprise.

It combines Google-like search and Amazon-like recommendations to reduce time-to-answer for a wide range of questions. The free module includes a pre-built library of more than 50 operational metrics and attributes, with historical and dimensional views to deliver rapid time to value. Rich visualizations, enterprise dashboards and more than 20 pre-built reports provide instant insight into key operational issues.

Birst Express for NetSuite enables companies to:

  • Compare book-to-bill conversion rates across products, customer types and more
  • Understand billing trends over time and identify bottlenecks to improve performance
  • Gain insight into subscription business KPIs such as deferred revenue and renewal rates
  • Uncover valuable insights to help decrease days sales outstanding and increase working capital
  • Eliminate manual reporting and dramatically accelerate decision-making throughout the organization

While Birst Express is free to NetSuite users a more robust, premium version is available as well.

More to Come

Tomorrow we’ll be bringing you bits about Data Torrent, SnapLogic, SAP, Hortonworks and more ….

Title image by Thomas La Mela /