Top 10 Pentaho Stories of 2013

December 31, 2013

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2013 has been an exciting year with new products, partnerships and overall company momentum. Before the clock strikes midnight on December 31, and we welcome 2014, we’d like to look back at some of the top stories of 2013. Here are the top 10 most popular news releases of 2013:

10. Pentaho Named a Red Herring Global 100 Winner
Big data integration and analytics leader listed among world’s most promising technology companies (Wednesday, November 27, 2013)

9. Revamped Global Pentaho Partner Programme Rewards Commitment and Lowers Barriers to Entry
Now even easier for channel players to profit from the big data revolution (Wednesday, September 4, 2013)

8. Pentaho Brings Big Data Analytics to Intel® Distribution for Apache Hadoop Software
End-to-end solution combines the Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop Software with Pentaho’s full range of enterprise data integration and analytics software (Tuesday, February 26, 2013)

7. Rackspace brings ETL to the Cloud with Pentaho
A Hadoop Summit Q&A (Thursday, June 27, 2013)

6. Pentaho Instaview Templates Broaden Big Data Access and Analysis
Big Data delivery is simplified for IT to easily customize and create new templates; Data Analysts empowered to choose, prepare and analyze big data sources in three easy steps (Tuesday, February 26, 2013)

5. Pentaho Announces New Offering for MongoDB-based Business Intelligence
Expanded native integration provides enterprise analytics for MongoDB (Thursday, September 12, 2013)

4. Pentaho and Splunk Partner to Unlock Big Data Value from Machine Generated Data
Extends Splunk Machine Data Insights to Business Users with Pentaho’s Big Data Visualization and Data Integration (Wednesday, August 7, 2013)

3. Pentaho Furthers Innovation in Big Data Integration and Launches Pentaho Labs
Helps companies thrive in the face of relentless big data change (Wednesday, June 26, 2013)

2. Pentaho Acquires Dashboard and UI Specialist Partner Webdetails
Portugal-based consultancy provides visual development expertise, consulting services and a new community leader (Monday, April 22, 2013)

1.  Pentaho Gears Up Analytics Platform for the Future of Big Data
Pentaho Business Analytics 5.0 greatly simplifies the entire analytics experience for everyone and delivers the industry’s first just in time big data blending ‘at the source’ (Thursday, September 12, 2013)

What was your favorite story of 2013? We want to know – you can respond in the comments section below or on twitter using the hashtag #Pentaho.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!


Analyze 10 years of Chicago Crime with Pentaho, Cloudera Search and Impala

December 23, 2013

Hadoop is a complex technology stack and many people getting started with Hadoop spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on operational aspects – getting the cluster up and running, obtaining foundational training, and ingesting data. Consequently it can be difficult to get a good picture of the true value that Hadoop provides, namely unlocking insight across multiple data streams that add valuable context to the transactional history comprising most of the core data in the enterprise.

At Strata Hadoop World in October, Pentaho’s Lord of 1’s and 0’s or CTO, James Dixon, unveiled a powerful demonstration of the true value that Hadoop – combined with enabling technology from Pentaho and our partner Cloudera – can provide. He took a publicly available data set provided by the City of Chicago and built a demo around it that enables nontechnical end-users to understand how crime patterns have changed over time in Chicago, unlocking insight into the type of crimes being committed in different areas of the city – not only historically but also broken down by time of day and day of week. As a result, citizenry as well as law enforcement have a much better sense of what to expect on the streets of Chicago from the insight the demonstration provides.

In the demo, end-users start with a dashboard that provides a high-level understanding of the mix of crimes historically committed on the streets of Chicago over the last ten years. Watch the demo here:

This kind of top-to-bottom understanding of (in this case) crime patterns is uniquely enabled by the capability Pentaho delivers to the market, combining dashboarding, analytics and data integration into one easily-embedded platform that leverages blending across multiple data sets.

The deep understanding that Pentaho’s solution delivers to end-users is enabled by two key technologies from Cloudera: Cloudera Search and Impala. The original data set provided by the City of Chicago was loaded into a Cloudera Hadoop cluster using Pentaho’s data integration tool, Pentaho Data Integration (“PDI”). End-user drilldown is powered by Cloudera Search, which executes a faceted search on behalf of Pentaho’s dashboard. Once an area of interest has been located, Cloudera’s Impala executes low-latency performance of SQL on the raw data stored in the Hadoop cluster to bring up individual crime records.

Although Hadoop is often perceived as a geek’s playground, the power of Pentaho’s business-friendly interface is readily apparent when engaging this demo. Unlocking the power of Hadoop can be as simple as engaging Pentaho’s integrated approach to analytics together with Cloudera’s foundational platform to deliver an integrated solution whose value is apparent to nontechnical executives wondering whether Hadoop is the right choice for a key initiative.

Rob Rosen
Field Big Data Lead
Pentaho


Big Data, Big Revenue for Marketers

December 12, 2013

Why might Big Data mean millions for marketing?  Because it has the potential to create a more complete picture of the buyer, thereby empowering marketers to more effectively deliver the right message to the right individual at the right time – and ultimately increase sales.  In the following brief video from DMA 2013, Marketo VP/Co-founder Jon Miller and Pentaho CMO Rosanne Saccone provide a crash course on what Big Data means for marketers.  It covers:

  • The defining characteristics of Big Data – Velocity, Variety, & Volume
  • How marketers can leverage Big Data to blend operational information (CRM, ERP) and online data (web activity, social networking interactions) for new insights
  • Sample Big Data use cases that organizations are green-lighting today to optimize customer interactions and drive marketing’s contribution to revenue

Note that this is an excerpt from a larger presentation – for the full video please click here.

We’d also recommend this blog post by Jon Miller for more context on Big Data in marketing.

For additional compelling use cases that leverage Big Data for marketing and other functions, see here.

Ben Hopkins
Product Marketing
Pentaho


Big Data 2014: Powering Up the Curve

December 5, 2013

Last year, I predicted that 2013 would be the year big data analytics started to go into mainstream deployment and the research we recently commissioned with Enterprise Management Consultants indicates that’s happened. What really surprised me though is the extent to which the demand for data blending has powered up the curve and I believe this trend will accelerate big data growth in 2014.

Prediction one: The big data ‘power curve’ in 2014 will be shaped by business users’ demand for data blending
Customers like Andrew Robbins of Paytronix and Andrea Dommers-Nilgen of TravelTainment, who recently spoke about their Pentaho projects at events in NY and London, both come from the business side and are achieving specific goals for their companies by blending big and relational data. Business users like these are getting inspired by the potential to tap into blended data to gain new insights from a 360 degree customer view, including the ability to analyze customer behavior patterns and predict the likelihood that customers will take advantage of targeted offers.

Prediction two: big data needs to play well with others!
Historically, big data projects have largely sat in the IT departments because of the technical skills needed and the growing and bewildering array of technologies that can be combined to build reference architectures. Customers must choose from the various commercial and open source technologies including Hadoop distributions, NoSQL databases, high-speed databases, analytics platforms and many other tools and plug-ins. But they also need to consider existing infrastructure including relational data and data warehouses and how they’ll fit into the picture.

The plus side of all this choice and diversity is that after decades of tyranny and ‘lock-in’ imposed by enterprise software vendors, in 2014, even greater buying power will shift to customers. But there are also challenges. It can be cumbersome to manage this heterogeneous data environment involved with big data analytics. It also means that IT will be looking for Big Data tools to help deploy and manage these complex emerging reference architectures, and to simplify them.  It will be incumbent on the Big Data technology vendors to play well with each other and work towards compatibility. After all, it’s the ability to access and manage information from multiple sources that will add value to big data analytics.

Prediction three: you will see even more rapid innovation from the big data open source community
New open source projects like Hadoop 2.0 and YARN, as the next generation Hadoop resource manager, will make the Hadoop infrastructure more interactive. New open source projects like STORM, a streaming communications protocol, will enable more real-time, on-demand blending of information in the big data ecosystem.

Since we announced the industry’s first native Hadoop connectors in 2010, we’ve been on a mission to make the transition to big data architectures easier and less risky in the context of this expanding ecosystem. In 2013 we made some massive breakthroughs towards this, starting with our most fundamental resource, the adaptive big data layer. This enables IT departments to feel smarter, safer and more confident about their reference architectures and open up big data solutions to people in the business, whether they be data scientists, data analysts, marketing operations analysts or line of business managers.

Prediction four: you can’t prepare for tomorrow with yesterday’s tools
We’re continuing to refine our platform to support the future of analytics. In 2014, we’ll release new functionality, upgrades and plug-ins to make it even easier and faster to move, blend and analyze relational and big data sources. We’re planning to improve the capabilities of the adaptive data layer and make it more secure and easy for customers to manage data flow. On the analytics side, we’re working to simplify data discovery on the fly for all business users and make it easier to find patterns and catch anomalies. In Pentaho Labs, we’ll continue to work with early adopters to cook up new technologies to bring things like predictive, machine data and real-time analytics into mainstream production.

As people in the business continue to see what’s possible with blended big data, I believe we’re going to witness some really exciting breakthroughs and results. I hope you’re as excited as I am about 2014!

Quentin Gallivan, CEO, Pentaho

Big-Data-2014-Predictions-Blog-Graphic


Weka goes BIG

December 4, 2013

funny_science_nerd_cartoon_character_custom_flyer-rb4a8aff0894a4e25932056b8852f8b18_vgvyf_8byvr_512.jpgThe beakers are bubbling more violently than usual at Pentaho Labs and this time predictive analytics is the focus.  The lab coat, pocket-protector and taped glasses clad scientists have turned their attention to the Weka machine learning software.

Weka, a collection of machine learning algorithms for predictive analytics and data mining, has a number of useful applications. Examples include, scoring credit risk, predicting downtime of machines and analyzing sentiment in social feeds.  The technology can be used to facilitate automatic knowledge discovery by uncovering hidden patterns in complex datasets, or to develop accurate predictive models for forecasting.

Organizations have been building predictive models to aid decision making for a number of years, but the recent explosion in the volume of data being recorded (aka “Big Data”) provides unique challenges for data mining practitioners. Weka is efficient and fast when running against datasets that fit in main memory, but larger datasets often require sampling before processing. Sampling can be an effective mechanism when samples are representative of the underlying problem, but in some cases the loss of information can negatively impact predictive performance.

To combat information loss, and scale Weka’s wide selection of predictive algorithms to large data sets, the folks at Pentaho Labs developed a framework to run Weka in Hadoop. Now the sort of tasks commonly performed during the development of a predictive solution – such as model construction, tuning, evaluation and scoring – can be carried out on large datasets without resorting to down-sampling the data. Hadoop was targeted as the initial distributed platform for the system, but the Weka framework contains generic map-reduce building blocks that can be used to develop similar functionality in other distributed environments.

If you’re a predictive solution developer or a data scientist, the new Weka framework is a much faster path to solution development and deployment.  Just think of the questions you can ask at scale!

To learn more technical details about the Weka Hadoop framework I suggest to read the blog, Weka and Hadoop Part 1, by Mark Hall, Weka core developer at Pentaho.

Also, check out Pentaho Labs to learn more about Predictive Analytics from Pentaho, and to see some of the other cool things the team has brewing.

Chuck Yarbrough
Technical Solutions Marketing


Customer Spotlight: WiMP Music, the 2013 BI Award winner for Innovation

December 2, 2013

wimpAwardIn today`s blog post, I want to put the spotlight on our Norwegian partner Conduct and congratulate them for their great work implementing Pentaho for WiMP Music, a music streaming service similar to iTunes that is very popular in Northern and Central Europe. The deployment received the 2013 BI Award for Innovation in Norway given by the prestigious Norwegian Computer Society on October 31st in Oslo.

Through local editorial teams in each country, WiMP provides daily recommendations, tips and playlists for any occasion for its audiences. The ad-free service is available on computers and mobiles, tablets and network players in Denmark, Germany, Norway, Poland and Sweden. The business is entirely digital and data-driven, with music files licensed from a large number of different sources delivered by a huge partner network and priced dynamically, according to where and how it is sold. Wimp’s BI solution was built by Conduct on Pentaho Business Analytics and has been in production since 2010.

Pentaho has become essential for delivering the music streaming service WiMP provides, because it controls income distribution and settlement. It also provides information that WiMP is contractually obliged to provide to content providers and partners. In addition, the solution provides a huge range of easily accessible management information for decision-making based on facts, not gut feelings.

The Jury stated that this year’s winner of the BI Award for Innovation has:

  • Adopted BI as a core component of its business
  • Been thinking outside the box and dared to challenge traditional IT architecture when establishing its business and its IT portfolio. The solution is flexible and meets the changing challenges of a dynamic market.
  • Used Open Source in its solution design and decided to use the data warehouse as the core of its business systems and business model
  • Created a robust solution that satisfies both audits and controls and creates numbers its partners trust

Congratulations to WiMP for its foresight of truly extracting the real value of data and building its business model based on it. And of course a big congrats to our channel partner Conduct who built this great deployment on our Pentaho Business Analytics platform.

Pentaho is supporting its partners also with its marketing activities. If you have impressive customer stories like WiMP, our team is on hand to help you promote and celebrate them by writing up case studies, press releases, co-hosting a webinar or completing award applications. If you are a Pentaho partner and want to get the most out of your partnership, please contact me.

Erik Nolten
Director Channel EMEA & APAC


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