Leading venture funds back Pentaho’s big data strategy

October 30, 2012

It’s an immensely proud day for Pentaho. Today we announced that a syndicate of venture capital firms led by NEA that includes Benchmark Capital, Index Ventures and DAG Ventures has agreed to invest $23 million in the company. You can read the press release here.

These firms share a common belief that the big data revolution offers significant upside and is part of a larger transformation taking place in the enterprise software industry that includes cloud computing. NEA’s recent blog post, SaaS 3.0: Big Data that Delivers, describes this very eloquently.

However, no matter how cool a company’s technology is, the ability to attract funding depends on how well the company is delivering on its strategy. I’m pleased to report that our first-mover advantage in big data really started to pay off in 2012, with our big data sales growing by more than 300%!  And I believe the kind of growth we’ve seen this year is only the tip of the iceberg.

Still, revenue growth is only part of the picture.  As Warren Buffet famously said, “value is what you get” and sustainable growth depends on the ability to create value for others. On this score, our big data solutions are creating value for a new generation of disruptive companies like Beachmint, Shareable Ink and Travian Games, which recognize the potential of advanced analytics to drive innovation, customer loyalty and new sources of revenue. Established companies like Soliditet and several large firms in financial services are using Pentaho to prepare for a future that will include big data analytics.

We plan to use the new funds to accelerate further technology innovation in big data and other areas, recruit the best talent in the industry and further our expansion into global markets so that we can create even more market value through our solutions.

The big data journey is in full flight – hang on for a fast, fun filled ride!

Quentin Gallivan


Is your big data protected?

October 17, 2012

This morning I participated in a panel discussing the topic of big data privacy at the San Francisco ISACA Fall Conference. The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) is a professional association of individuals interested in information systems audit, control and security, with over 50,000 members in 141 countries.  Other representatives on the panel were from eBay, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and CipherCloud.

Researching this topic and today’s discussion raised some interesting questions about the intersection of personal privacy and big data in this new age where it is becoming technically and economically viable to store and analyze enormous data volumes, such as every click on a website and every commerce transaction. All this big data, from both internal systems as well as externally sourced enrichment data can now be streamed into giant “data lakes” using open source based big data management platforms such as Hadoop and NoSQL databases. Using visual big data development tools and end-user visualization technology such as Pentaho makes it easier and easier for organizations to ingest, prepare and analyze this data resulting in previously unattainable insights that can be used to optimize revenue streams and reduce costs.

However, how can we ensure this “big data” is protected and never used in ways that intrude on individual privacy? Mature and integrated big data analytics platforms such as Pentaho can enforce data access controls as well as audit data usage, but today there is no industry standard for tagging how specific data elements may be used on a permanent basis. This has the potential to leading to risks down the road that data collected with individual personal consent may ultimately be used for purposes beyond the scope of the original consent policy. Is it time for government and industry standards bodies to tackle this issue with new technical standards that enforce data usage and aging policies on an ongoing basis? I have in mind something like an “XBRL” for data privacy, a standard taxonomy and semantics that enforces data usage policies regardless of source and platform.

Let me know what you think. Leave a comment below or @ian_fyfe

Ian Fyfe
Chief Technology Evangelist
Pentaho


What do famous fashionistas and Pentaho have in common?

October 12, 2012

What do the Olsen Twins, Rachel Bilson, Jessica Simpson, Justin Timberlake and Pentaho all have in common? We are all associated with the same social e-commerce company, BeachMint. BeachMint is a truly innovative and forward thinking online retailer that sells jewelry, clothes, shoes, home furnishings, beauty supplies and more through a subscription model with the help of celebrity stylist (a few mentioned above). The business analytics in the background helping to drive sales of these stylish goods curated by famous fashionistas is Pentaho Business Analytics.

BeachMint is using Pentaho Business Analytics, MySQL and HP Vertica to quickly slice and dice terabytes of “big data” and millions of daily emails, plus record click stream data. Pentaho Business Analytics provides reporting, dashboards, analysis and data visualization and capabilities to help with social monitoring, customer retention, financial reporting, product and website optimization and more.

Doug Cohen, Director of Business Analytics at BeachMint explains “For cost-conscious start-ups, Pentaho and open source are a no brainer for enabling rapid scale. You can easily compare it to proprietary tools that might not even work. I’ve been doing analytics in other industries such as gaming and advertising for years and have seen situations where coupon errors went on for days with hundreds of thousands of dollars lost. Using Pentaho, we are able to keep close tabs on the pulse of our online communities.

Smarter, faster and more creative, BeachMint does business in an innovative way with different rules, budgets, customers and time to market. A perfect fit for Pentaho and the future of analytics.

Read more about BeachMint use of Pentaho and let us know what you think.

If you are interested in fashion and home décor, we suggest you check them out! Several of us at Pentaho are big fans!

Donna Prlich
Director, Product Marketing
Pentaho


Happy Birthday Pentaho

October 8, 2012

Eight years ago on, Friday October 8th 2004, Pentaho was founded to (1) make a disruptive impact in the BI space (2) screw around with the big proprietary vendors  (3) have a lot of fun along the way. It’s been a great ride…but we have so much more to accomplish! Looking forward to the future with this phenomenal team that has come together over the years.

Happy B’Day Pentaho

Richard


Attention channel partners: turn big data into big money!

October 8, 2012

In Europe, where about half our sales come through the channel, I’m seeing some interesting opportunities for our partners to profit from the big data revolution that I wanted to share. The good news is that the customer demand is already here.

One is in providing expert professional services to help customers plan and implement big data solutions. Within this area, one of the biggest opportunities is in tool selection. There’s a dizzying array of big data technology on the market, much of which is unfamiliar to customers. For example, there are at least ten NoSQL databases, so which one should they pick? And how should they further complete their big data architecture? Customers are looking for some hands-on guidance.

Another opportunity I am seeing is within partners that are embedding our analytics software to provide big data solutions ‘as-a-service’. These partners offer to pull data from Twitter feeds, Facebook feeds and other sources, perform the advanced analytics on that data and finally serve up that data as a service to their clients. We are seeing a number of marketing software providers that offer these types of services to companies on a subscription basis

You can read more about my observations on how customers are benefitting from big data here in this recent article in the UK channel magazine Microscope.

What will help improve your chances of success?

First, don’t try to boil the ocean! Focus on the needs of a specific industry. Big data uses cases differ massively even between retail banks and wholesales banks, so channel organisations really need to focus on tailored solutions to gain credibility.

Next, avoid the ‘big bang’ approach. Get customers warmed up with big data by proving the value of big data through small pilot projects using a couple of data sources that return specific and measurable outcomes. After the first stage is completed, identify new opportunities and goals and plan the next incremental stage. This allows the customer to become acquainted with the new technologies and processes along the way without being overwhelmed. Customers today want to see results quickly and have little appetite for long term development projects.

Our full Business Analytics platform is the ideal tool for this big data ‘warm up’ process. First you can tackle the data integration challenges using our Pentaho Data Integration (PDI) software. PDI makes big data technologies much easier to use.  Its visual design tool significantly lowers the barriers to getting started with big data by cutting out the complex scripting and coding tasks.

From there you can immediately visualise the results with our underlying analytics engine. That way you can iteratively work your way to a solution that will prove valuable to the customer immediately. If you want to learn more about our big data solutions go to pentahobigdata.com

I hope this has convinced you that the big data revolution stands to offer you some real revenue opportunities today. If you’re an IT channel organisation and would like to know more or you’re a partner with a story to tell, please get in touch!

Davy Nys
VP EMEA & APAC, Pentaho
Twitter @davynys


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