Gearing up businesses for every stage of their journey to becoming truly data-driven

September 12, 2013

dashboard-laptopToday I’m incredibly proud to announce the availability of Pentaho Business Analytics version 5.0 – a milestone that’s as much a statement of our long-term vision as a software upgrade. As businesses battle the headwinds of global competition, they increasingly rely on data to improve customer service, grow revenue and become more efficient. As a result, demands on IT have never been greater and many are buckling under the relentless pace of big data proliferation and technological change. UK industry analyst Clive Longbottom of Quocirca said in a recent meeting with us, “the big data market is the ‘wild west’ and someone has got to go in and be the Sheriff that calms everything down!”

When we say in today’s press release that we have ‘geared up our analytics platform for the future of big data,’ we mean that we enable businesses at every stage in their journey to becoming truly data-driven. We see these stages as:

  • Storage — most companies start by moving data in and out of Hadoop stores to learn how to capture big data cost-effectively and enabled early experimentation.  Many customers are using Pentaho to support data warehouse optimization projects, moving some data out of high-performance databases into cost-effective Hadoop or MongoDB stores.
  • Visualizing and Reporting – some customers are visualizing or reporting from those big data stores, whether Hadoop or NoSQL. Pentaho 5.0 includes the industry’s first analytics platform with full support for MongoDB that doesn’t require coding, making it available to more business users.
  • Data blending – true ‘big picture’ insights happen when operational data sources are blended with big data sources. Companies that compete largely on service, in industries like telecommunications and financial services, see big data blending’s potential to help them gain market-share by providing the most personalized and interactive customer experience. Pentaho 5.0 is the first analytics platform to enable analysts to easily blend all data types ‘at the source’ and immediately report, visualize and explore for greater insights.
  • Predicting – it’s been talked about for many years, but I don’t think predictive analysis has yet reached its potential, partly because of tool complexity and partly the historical inability to easily integrate big data sources to go beyond data sampling. We are finally starting to see broader predictive use cases that involve data blending and the ability to tap into huge volumes of non-relational data in near real-time. We will continue to invest in predictive capabilities to build on Pentaho 5.0 as this is a main focus of Pentaho Labs.
  • The data-driven business – ultimately we expect innovative customers of all sizes to embed analytics into every business processes and applications, so analytics become an integral part of operations rather than separate systems they need to access for decision-making.

And finally, it’s always been our view that bringing analytics ‘to the masses’ can only be achieved when the simultaneous needs of business users and the IT departments that serve them are met. Pentaho 5.0 improves the analytics experience for everyone in modern, big data-driven businesses from CIOs responsible for data governance to business analysts exploring customer data to executives viewing dashboards on their mobile devices.

We hope you like what you see in Pentaho 5.0 and look forward to your feedback!

Quentin


Webdetails and the art of the possible

April 22, 2013

wd_pentaho_horizontalIn business analytics, we hear so much these days about the growing role that data scientists play in helping organizations tap into big data to reach their goals. However, in certain scenarios, from hospitals to hospitality, information also needs to be designed with a combination of style, accessibility and consistency. In these cases, sometimes you may also need a data artist!

With that, I am very pleased to announce today that Webdetails, an exceptionally talented team of ‘data artists’ based in Portugal, have joined the Pentaho family through acquisition. Webdetails’ team of 20 will join our global development team, adding advanced capabilities in high-end, user interface design. Many of our customers and users reading this will already be familiar with Webdetails’ popular CTools plug-ins for creating dashboards and reports.

For several years now, Webdetails has been serving Pentaho customers including 4SightBI, St. Antonius Hospital, and our award-winning customer Stonegate Senior Living, showing them ‘the art of the possible’ when it comes to visually presenting their data. With its expertise in custom visual interfaces, if a customer can imagine it, Webdetails can create it using its CTools plugins and Pentaho’s extensible platform.

Finally, I am delighted that Webdetails’ Founder Pedro Alves, a respected, active member of the Pentaho open source community, will take on the new role of Senior VP, Community for Pentaho, as well as continue in his role as General Manager of Webdetails. Pedro is ideal for this role, having recently collaborated with us to launch the Pentaho Marketplace, where developers can share, install and load cool plug-ins.

So dare to dream! If you want to create interfaces that dazzle and delight your users, visit Pentaho.com and let us show you the art of the possible.

Quentin


Big Data Speeds Across the Chasm

December 14, 2012

Last week I visited our European team and met with customers, prospects, press and analysts to learn and talk about big data. My week in Europe confirmed my belief that we are definitely in the right business at the most exciting possible time. In a region that is rife with economic challenges, my conversations were optimistic and inspiring.

Seasoned industry people will be familiar with Geoffrey Moore’s famous curve showing the phases of technology adoption, in which the toughest challenge is ‘crossing the chasm between the early adopters and the early majority. With some technologies, this journey can take years. Many never make it across.

Technology Adoption Lifecycle

After speaking to me and executives from MapR, Cloudera and ParAccel, Brian McKenna of Computer Weekly proposes in his article “Big data analytics set to confound conventional adoption curve in UK” that big data adoption is moving relatively fast in the UK and Europe. The UK industry analyst Clive Longbottom, who I met with, reinforced this saying that big data adoption in the UK was only three months behind the US.

Of course the real proof is in what customers are doing. During my visit, our customer Carsten Bomsdorf of Travian Games presented at the Big Data Analytics conference in London about how his company uses Pentaho to analyze the behavior of its 140 million gamers to continuously innovate its award-winning products. And in marked contrast to last year, every single European customer and prospect I met with was either executing or actively planning for big data analytics.

Why is the adoption curve for big data moving faster than other technologies, even in Europe’s more traditionally risk and hype-averse markets? The answer is economic urgency. Big data analytics has demonstrated that it can help companies identify new revenue streams – even needles in haystacks – regardless of the economic climate. Quite simply big data is the ultimate tool for matching supply with demand.

If Europe’s enthusiasm for big data is anything to go on, I have to conclude that 2013 really will be the year that it starts to enter mainstream production. Fasten your seat belts – it’s going to be a wild ride!

Quentin Gallivan, CEO, Pentaho


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


Big Data Bucks the Big Data Global Economic Trend

September 4, 2012

As I approach the end of my first year as Pentaho’s CEO, I’ve being reflecting on two things: one, the exceptional opportunity that big data analytics presents to individual companies and the global economy and two, my good fortune in having joined such a courageous and visionary team of people. As you start planning for 2013, I wanted to take a few minutes to share some of my reflections.

Let me start with the opportunity. Many Western economies that we do business in have struggled this year, from 25 percent unemployment levels in Spain to double-dip recession in the UK to disappointing job growth in the US. And yet in the past year at Pentaho, we achieved record growth overall, with the last quarter being our best ever for big data sales.

Economists advocate the urgent need for growth but as many countries have learned the hard way, growth doesn’t arise simply from cost-cutting or producing more of the same, but in intelligently creating new demand.

And that’s precisely where big data analytics comes in.  Big data analytics, with its potential to tap into the staggering wealth of online and corporate data, is empowering companies to identify new revenue opportunities and use precious resources more profitably and more sustainably.

Our customer stories prove that this opportunity is no pipe dream – whether it’s German-based developer Travian Games, which uses Pentaho to analyses usage patterns from 120 million gamers to innovate its products or Shareable Ink, an enterprise cloud application provider that analyses and presents critical, document-based information to health care professionals in order to improve patient care.  These companies are outmaneuvering and outpacing their competitors in very crowded, saturated markets.  And new uses cases for big data analytics are emerging all the time, like clickstream analysis in online retailing and device analytics in IT departments.

One of the biggest revelations for me this year has been hearing prospective customers tell me how hard it is it to work with big data technology.  With amazing foresight, our product development team decided several years ago to take ‘the road less travelled’ in business intelligence and prioritized solving the most complex aspects of data integration for customers.  This laid the foundation for our early leadership in big data analytics.  Kenneth Wrife from our Swedish partner Omicron summed it up best when he said, “data visualization is of course necessary, but also something of a commodity.  The hardest part of data integration is extracting data from a variety of different types of sources and assimilating that data so that it is ready to be analyzed.  That’s what Pentaho does better than any other vendor’.

However, don’t imagine for a second that we’re resting on our laurels.  In order for big data analytics to ‘cross the chasm’ into mainstream adoption, we aim to make it much easier for ordinary business users, data analysts and data scientists to work with.  It also needs to be more accessible to the growing range SaaS-deployed applications on mobile devices, especially tablets.  Without giving the game away, I can promise you that you will see some very exciting new developments unfolding in these areas in the fourth quarter.

We’d love to hear from you if you are defying the global economic slump and using big data analytics to identify new sources of value for your company.  We hope you like what you see in Q4 and, as ever, thanks for your continued support.

Quentin


Welcome Pentaho’s newest board member, Brian Stevens

July 17, 2012

As Pentaho continues to rapidly grow it is important for us to add advisors who can offer guidance in core areas importance. To that note, I am excited to announce that Brian Stevens, CTO and vice president, worldwide engineering, Red Hat, Inc. has joined the Pentaho Board of Directors.

Brian brings tremendous experience in cloud computing and software innovation to Pentaho at a time when the business analytics market is being transformed by a deluge of large and diverse data volumes, the mainstream adoption of cloud solutions, and need for interactive analysis.

Brian’s insights into the ever-changing software landscape will be invaluable as we continue to innovate the Pentaho Business Analytics platform with its unified business analytics, data integration and big data capabilities to meet the demands of big and disparate data environments.

Quentin


Pentaho Joins Dell Partner Program for Big Data

June 13, 2012

The opportunity that big data analytics provides for organizations to innovate quickly, predict events and improve customer relationships is endless. Our own customers including Shareable Ink, Travian Games and TravelTainment are using big data analytics today to analyze clinical data, innovate computer games and design targeted promotional campaigns – just to name a few.

Two key themes in of our vision for the future of analytics are to integrate with the leading technology partners in the big data analytics ecosystem and to enable cloud-ready applications.  In light of this, I am incredibly pleased to announce that today Pentaho is part of Dell’s Emerging Solutions Ecosystem, a new partnership program announced last April with the aim of focusing on cloud and big data enablement.

Pentaho’s big data analytics software will be offered with the Dell Apache Hadoop Solution, which brings together Cloudera’s distribution of Apache Hadoop, Dell’s hardware reference architecture and Dell’s Crowbar software, which automates and accelerates the deployment, configuration and ongoing operation of your cloud or cluster environment. The combined solution will also be offered with joint services and support.

What does this mean? I’ve had many conversations this year with customers who’ve told us they need to ‘operationalize’ Hadoop and that’s exactly what this partnership is about.  In a nutshell, this partnership makes it faster and easier for organizations to gain total insight from all their data through a single appliance that combines Hadoop integration, data integration and out-of-the-box analytics.

Why did Dell select Pentaho to be part of the Dell Apache Hadoop Solution? A major factor is that we were one of the first movers in the space announcing support for Big Data in May 2010 and we have many customers doing real work with big data.  We’ve also been working with Cloudera since October 2010 and have a longstanding strategic relationship with them, which includes technology integration.

The partnership means that Dell’s dedicated, big data sales team will now be reselling Pentaho directly into existing and new Dell accounts, initially in North America and other parts of the world very soon.  The Dell partnership also further commercializes Pentaho’s relationship with Cloudera by providing a vehicle to bring a big data offering to the market.

We look forward to helping you achieve your business goals through this important new partnership. For more information about Pentaho and Dell’s Emerging Solutions Ecosystem please visit pentaho.com/big-data/dell/.

Quentin


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 101 other followers