Hadoop Summit 2014 – Big Data Keeps Getting Bigger

June 6, 2014

hadoop_summit_logo

While most of this year’s Hadoop Summit sessions still conveyed ‘developer conference,’ rife with command-line driven demos and Java, Scala, and Python code snippets, I noticed the ‘commercial’ uniform of khakis, blazers and Docksiders starting to creep in. Indeed, the themes I noticed most at the Summit were “enterprise ready” and “next-generation data platform.”

So if the Summit’s days as an all-out geekfest are history, what does this say about Hadoop? I happen to think it’s great news: it says Hadoop is going mainstream and being embraced as core to the enterprise data platform. Nothing drives this home more convincingly than the fact that the Hadoop “enterprise ready” ecosystem has exploded from less than ten vendors five years ago to more than 80 vendor sponsors at this year’s show.

In this our fifth year sponsoring the Summit, we were just as pumped as we were attending and sponsoring our first Hadoop Summit back in June 2010 right after the launched our first Hadoop product set.  This year saw a record crowd (3,200+ attendees from 1,100 different companies), informative breakout sessions, fun parties, and lots of energy and passion throughout.

More large enterprise companies laid out specific needs and funded use cases than ever. I noticed companies increasingly talking about bringing Hadoop in house to build proofs of concept so they wouldn’t get left behind, losing ground to competitive Hadoop shops. Hadoop has emerged as the new strategic weapon in companies’ IT arsenals as they wake up to the value of their data assets.

I talked to Hadoop users who were beaming with pride over their projects and hungry to take on more. These techies are the new corporate rock stars, delivering huge returns to their companies. However as with any young technology, Hadoop projects aren’t completely free of road bumps – mostly around blending different types of data and integration as both corporate data volumes and variety continues to multiply like rabbits.

That’s why at Pentaho, we’re determined to stay on the road less travelled and keep smoothing out these data blending and integration road bumps so that every data professional working with Hadoop – regardless of their dress code – will enjoy a better ride.

See you at Hadoop Summit 2015!

Richard Daley
Founder and Chief Strategy Officer
Pentaho


Good news, your data scientist just got a personal assistant

June 3, 2014

personal asstIf you are or have a data scientist in house you’re in for good news.

Today at Hadoop Summit in San Jose, Pentaho unveiled a toolkit built specifically for data scientists to simplify the messy, time-consuming data preparation, cleansing and orchestration of analytic data sets. Don’t just take it from us…

The Ventana Research Big Data Analytics Benchmark Research estimates the top two time-consuming big data tasks are solving data quality and consistency issues (46%) and preparing data for integration (52%). That’s a whopping amount of time just spent getting data prepped and cleansed, not to mention the time spent in post processing results.  Imagine if time spent preparing, managing and orchestrating these processes could be handed off to a personal assistant leaving more time to focus on analyzing and applying advanced and predictive algorithms to data (i.e. doing what a data scientist is paid to do).

Enter the Pentaho Data Science Pack, the personal assistant to the data scientist.  Built to help operationalize advanced analytic models as part of a big data flow, the data science pack leverages familiar tools like R, the most-used tool for data scientists and Weka, a widely used and popular open source collection of machine learning algorithms. No new tools to learn. In the words of our own customer, Ken Krooner, President at ESRG “There was a gap in the market until now and people like myself were piecing together solutions to help with the data preparation, cleansing and orchestration of analytic data sets. The Pentaho Data Science Pack fills that gap to operationalize the data integration process for advanced and predictive analytics.”

Pentaho is at the forefront of solving big data integration challenges, and we know advanced and predictive analytics are core ingredients for success. Find out how close at hand your data science personal assistant is and take a closer look at the Data Science Pack.

Chuck Yarbrough
Director, Big Data Product Marketing


PentahoWorld 2014 – save the date

May 2, 2014

PentahoWorld stacked dateClick here to be the first to hear more details on PentahoWorld 2014. #PWorld2014

 


Horses for courses

April 29, 2014

The social media channels are buzzing today with chatter about Tibco’s acquisition of Jaspersoft.  As fellow players in the spheres of commercial open source and business analytics, industry watchers are naturally speculating on Pentaho as well so I thought I’d take this opportunity to share how our business strategy differs to Jaspersoft’s.

When explaining our commitment to open standards, we tell our customers that one size IT strategy does not fit all – rather, it’s ‘horses for courses’. Business strategies follow this principle as well and ours is very different from Jaspersoft’s.

Our strategic paths started to diverge four years ago when we started building on our open source heritage to focus on big data and advanced analytics capabilities for technologies like Hadoop and NoSQL, and more recently YARN and Storm.

Hell bent on solving big and diverse data challenges with a full data integration and analytics platform, last year we introduced ground-breaking technology like our Adaptive Big Data Layer, which protects enterprises against the risks inherent in a disruptive big data market. Today we have the most comprehensive big data integration capabilities currently on the market.

As a result, Pentaho has seen enormous growth in big data and embedded analytics, with more than 83% growth in these segments.  And, significantly, our big data analytics platform has driven a huge increase in large enterprise clients, growing at over 200% from the prior year and now representing 26% of our business.

Jaspersoft took a different route, opting to provide low-cost open source alternatives to traditional BI and reporting, particularly to the SMB market. Larry Dignan for Between the Lines, ZDNet comments, “With Jaspersoft, Tibco can offer low-priced subscriptions and later upsell to its other applications.”

Although our total cost of ownership is highly attractive to mid-market and enterprise buyers alike, we’re not aiming to be the cheapest.  We continue to innovate with R&D so we can continue to break new ground in big data and embedded analytics.

“The TIBCO acquisition of Jaspersoft is additional validation that the business analytics market is continuing to bifurcate — with more traditional departmental BI on the one hand, and big-data analytics on the other. TIBCO has added a low-cost open source reporting capability to its portfolio to address the SMB BI market, a market we view as continuing to commoditize.” 

“Four years ago, we saw the big data market opportunity. While Jaspersoft turned right, we turned left towards big data analytics and the associated new projects funded in large enterprises,” Gallivan continued. “The Pentaho platform is in the pole position to integrate and blend diverse big data sets together to deliver end-to-end big data analytics solutions to large enterprises – a platform that experienced 83% year-over-year growth in big data and embedded analytics in 2013 alone,” said Quentin Gallivan, Chairman and CEO of Pentaho.

Pentaho continues to stay focused on our course of big data integration and analytics platform solving for the future of analytics. I encourage you to explore how we are doing this by exploring our Big Data Blueprints or Visualization gallery.

Rosanne Saccone
CMO
Pentaho


Pentaho and MongoDB Rendezvous in SF

April 22, 2014

CityClubThe City Club of San Francisco is well known for hosting the swankiest of weddings in San Francisco. However, on May 1st, it will be the location of a union of a different sort – The Pentaho and MongoDB ‘Better Together’ luncheon. Pentaho and MongoDB have emerged as a powerful combination for scalable data storage, processes and analytics. This special event is not to be missed as the four hours is packed with access to industry leaders, peer use cases, and key points you need to know to make a difference in your organization right away – PLUS a free Pentaho Analytics for MongoDB book and 5 star lunch. Here is a glance at the agenda:

Agenda
10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Welcome & Introductions: Pentaho & MongoDB Teams

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Pentaho Analytics for MongoDB & Demo – Bo Borland, Pentaho’s VP of Field Technical Sales and author of Pentaho Analytics for MongoDB

12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Advantages, Use Cases, and Value of MongoDB

12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Customer Use Case

1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Optional Breakout Session & Book Signing by Bo Borland author of Pentaho Analytics for MongoDB

We hope you can rendezvous with us on May 1 at the City Club of SF. 

Click here for more details and to register. Don’t delay – space is limited! 

Learn more about why Pentaho and MongoDB are better together

Don’t live in San Francisco? Visit the Pentaho events page to find details about Pentaho and MongoDB luncheons in Atlanta, Minneapolis and Tampa. Stay tuned for more locations and dates.


I’ll Take Some Science with My Art

April 8, 2014

We’ve kicked off some amazing new content around Pentaho’s data visualization and dashboard capabilities that you won’t want to miss.

For those of you who don’t know, we have a team of in-house data design experts who specialize in creating 100% tailored analytics experiences for organizations with unique visualization and user interface needs. The team creates Pentaho platform solutions to business problems presented in a visual, elegant and intuitive fashion. And now, we’ve taken the opportunity to share that process with you in The Fine Art of Business Intelligence.

FineArt_Before

from ‘back of the napkin’…

FineArt_After

…to stellar visualization

What’s so special about this content is that it starts with sketches and business objectives (the kind our team receives all the time) – and provides visual design proposals and recommendations to satisfy those needs. We see too often in the BI marketplace an emphasis on ‘pretty pictures’ without consideration for guiding goals and strategy.  As you might expect, we at Pentaho believe that beautiful visuals can (and must) solve business challenges before all else – hence the ‘Fine’ in ‘Fine Art’.

There’s also a little something for everyone on the Fine Art of BI pages – with examples addressing real needs in social media marketing, finance and investing, telecom, and healthcare.

Additionally, in conjunction with this project, we’ve  collected visualization and dashboard best practices from our in-house design experts and shared them in this quick project guide. It’s definitely worth a read if you are struggling with how to begin your project, which visualizations you should consider, or what dashboard layout makes sense. The guide (and the Fine Art of BI samples) highlight a few key themes that are broadly applicable:

  • You need to have a plan before anything else: This includes considering the high-level organizational goals, analytics user needs, relevant and measurable KPIs, as well as data readiness. If your visualizations and dashboards are to be effectively utilized, they must align with the right user and business objectives.
  • Less tends to be more: Don’t put too many charts in your dashboard, don’t insert complex overlays on your location visualizations, and don’t discount a simple yet elegant bar chart (it may be the best way to convey information).
  • Engagement drives adoption: Whether in the form of interactive hover and drill-down features, eye-catching theming and branding, or embedding analytics into existing applications – the more effectively you can engage your users, the more likely they will be to continue to use your analytics.

In case you missed it before, here’s another link to the Fine Art of BI. We’d also recommend this Visualization Paper from TDWI for further reading.

Finally, here is a link to more information regarding our Custom Visualization and UI Design services offerings.

Ben Hopkins
Product Marketing Manager
Pentaho

Cloudera Stamp of Approval

April 3, 2014

logo_cloudera_certifiedYesterday, Cloudera announced the general availability of Cloudera 5 (C5), the latest generation of Cloudera’s unified data platform for the enterprise data hub. Pentaho engineers have been working on certification since the beta was available in early February to make sure we are certified on day one of the GA.

Cloudera and Pentaho  have a long standing strategic relationship with tested joint technologies that have been deployed time and time over again. By using Cloudera Certified products, enterprises significantly reduce risk while taking advantage of the worlds most complete, tested and popular platform powered by Apache Hadoop. This stamp of approval should put customers at ease when deploying C5 knowing that Pentaho and Cloudera have worked together to ensure the highest level of capabilities and compatibility.

Learn more about Pentaho and Cloudera’s joint solution benefits, access the download, resources and recordings.

Paul Vasquez
Senior Product Manager, Technology Partners
Pentaho
@BigDataPaul


Robert Frost on Big Data

March 27, 2014

frostThere is a time to be adventurous and take the path less travelled as Frost points out in the often quoted, “Road Not Taken” –but not with big data. I wonder what Frost would have to say about big data, a concept difficult to comprehend in the early 1900’s.  In reviewing the poem (poetry being an arm chair interest of mine), it becomes clear that there is some ambiguity about whether Frost intended to promote taking the “Road Less Travelled.”  In fact, it is thought that the poem was written in jest to his friend Lawrence Thomas to convey that the true regret is in not making a decision at all.

This ambiguity and indecisiveness is very present in the big data ecosystem.  Most organizations are cognizant of the disruptive force of big data — it’s impact on the competitive business landscape and the way consumers live their daily lives.  Fortunately, they also know there is little, if no room for regret at taking the Big Data Road Less Travelled or not choosing a path at all.

To that end Pentaho has collected and shared four paths that many of our customers have successfully travelled to achieve business value from big data.  They are four common big data use cases that reduce costs, optimize and begin to transform businesses.  We have laid out four roads that have been well traveled and ended in big data success. I highly encourage you to explore our top four big data use cases and the roads most often travelled. No regrets.

Donna Prlich
Sr. Director, Product Marketing

 


Celebrating Our Partners’ Success

March 25, 2014

iteuropa_awardThis is my first blog post for Pentaho and there’s no better occasion than celebrating our partners’ success! Two of our EMEA partners have been shortlisted for  IT Europas European IT & Software Excellence Awards and I will have the honour to accompany them to the awards dinner taking place this Wednesday at the Lancaster London Hotel.

Our Norwegian Partner Conduct is shortlisted for the outstanding work implementing Pentaho for WiMP Music, a music streaming service similar to iTunes that is very popular in Northern and Central Europe. Its not the first recognition of their great work – they already won the 2013 BI Award for Innovation in Norway given by the Norwegian Computer Society last October. You can read more about the implementation here.

Our OEM partner Kirchhoff Datensysteme Software GmbH (KDS) is shortlisted for its tool Poly.MIS, an industry specific Business Intelligence (BI) solution for plastic compounders built on the Pentaho business analytics platform. The specialised analytics tool helps plastic compounders to lower costs and maximize profits. You can read more about the implementation here.

Pentaho has been growing impressively in Europe for the past two years and we know that our partners play an important role here – when they succeed, everybody wins. As many have limited marketing resources, we are here to help and support our partners with their marketing activities.

If you have impressive customer stories like WiMP or an outstanding embedded solution like KDS, 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, or you want to find out more about becoming a partner, please contact me at wbuckroyd at pentaho dot com.

Wendy Buckroyd


Blueprints to Big Data Success

March 21, 2014

data-refinerySeems like these days, everyone falls into one of the three categories.  You are either:

  1. Executing a big data strategy
  2. Implementing a big data strategy
  3. Taking a wait and see attitude

If you’re in one of the first two categories, good for you!  If you’re in the third, you might want re-think your strategy. Companies that get left behind will have a huge hill to climb just to catch up to the competition.

If one of your concerns with moving forward with big data has been a lack of solid guidance to help pave the path to success, then you are in luck!  Pentaho has recently released four Big Data Blueprints to help guide you through the process of executing a strategy.  These are four use cases that Pentaho has seen customers execute successfully.  So, this isn’t just marketing fluff.  These are real architectures that supports real big data business value.  The four blueprints now available on Pentaho’s website includes:

  • Optimize the data warehouse
  • Streamlined data refinery
  • Customer 360-degree view
  • Monetize my data

These blueprints will help you understand the basic architectures that will support your efforts and achieve your desired results.  If you are like many companies just getting started with big data, these are great tools to guide you through the murky waters that lie ahead.  Here is my quick guide to the four Blueprints, where you may want to get started and why.

The Big Data Blueprints

1.    Optimize the Data Warehouse
The data warehouse optimization (or sometimes referred to as data warehouse offloading or DWO) is a great starter use case for gaining experience and expertise with big data, while reducing costs and improving the analytic opportunities for end users.  The idea is to increase the amount of data being stored, but not by shoving it into the warehouse, but by adding Hadoop to house the additional data.  Once you have Hadoop in the mix, Pentaho makes it easy to move data into Hadoop from external sources, move data bi-directionally between the warehouse and Hadoop, as well as makes it easy to process data in Hadoop.  Again, this is a great place to start.  It’s not as transformative to your business as the other use cases can be, but it will build expertise and save you money.

2.    Streamlined Data Refinery
The idea behind the refinery is to provide a way to stream transaction, customer, machine, and other data from their sources through a scalable big data processing hub, where Hadoop is then used to process transformations, store data, and process analytics that can then be sent to an analytic model for reporting and analysis.  Working with several customers, we have seen this as a great next step after the DWO.

3.    Customer 360-Degree View
This blueprint is perhaps the most transformative of all the potential big data use cases. The idea here is to gain greater insight into what your customer is doing, seeing, feeling and purchasing.  All with the idea that you can then serve and retain that customer better, and attract more customers into your fold.  This blueprint lays out the architecture needed to start understanding your customer better.  It will require significant effort in accessing all the appropriate customer touch points, but the payoff can be huge.  Don’t worry too much about getting the full 360-degree view at first; starting with even one small slice can drive huge revenue and retention rates.

4.    Montetize My Data
What do you have locked up in your corporate servers, or in machines you own?  This blueprint can be as transformative as the Customer 360, in that it can create new revenue streams that you may not have ever thought about before.  In some cases, it could create a whole new business opportunity.  What ever your strategy, take time to investigate where and how you can drive new business by leveraging your data.

There are other blueprints that have been defined and developed by Pentaho, but these are four that typically make the most sense for organizations to leverage first.  Feel free to reach out to us for more information about any of these blueprints or to learn more about how Pentaho helps organizations be successful with big data.

Find out more about the big data blueprints at http://www.pentaho.com/big-data-blueprints.

Please let me know what you think @cyarbrough.

Thanks!
Chuck Yarbrough
Product Marketing, Big Data


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