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IBM redesigned its business intelligence platform, now called IBM Cognos Analytics. Expected to be released by the end of 2015, the new version includes features to help end users model their own data without IT assistance while maintaining the centralized governance and security that the platform already has. Our benchmark research into information optimization shows that simplifying access to information is important to vr_Info_Optimization_01_whos_responsible_for_information_availabilityvirtually all (97%) participating organizations, but it also finds that only one in four (25%) are satisfied with their current software for doing that. Simplification is a major theme of the IBM Cognos redesign.

The new IBM Cognos Analytics provides a completely Web-based environment that is consistent in the user interface and security across multiple devices and browsers. The redesigned interface follows IBM’s internal cultural shift to base product development first on the user experience and second on features and functionality. This may be a wise move as our research across multiple analytic software categories finds usability to be organizations’ most often important buying criterion.

The redesign is based on the same design and self-service principles as IBM Watson Analytics which we did award a Ventana Research Technology Innovation Award for 2015 in business analytics. The redesign is most evident in the IBM Cognos Analytics authoring mode. The Report Studio and Cognos Workspace Advanced modules have been replaced with a simplified Web-based modeling environment. The extended capabilities of IBM Cognos 10.2.2 are still available, but now they are hidden and more logically arranged to provide easier user access. For example, the previous version of Cognos presented an intimidating display of tools with which to do tasks such as fine-grain manipulation of reports; now these features are hidden but still easily accessible. If a user is having difficulty finding a particular function, a “smart search” feature helps to find the correct menu to add it.

The new system indexes objects, including metadata, as they are created, providing a more robust search function suitable for nontechnical users in the lines of business. The search feature works with what IBM calls “intent-based modeling” so users can search for words or phrases – for example, revenue by unit or product costs – and be presented with only relevant tables and columns. The system can then automatically build a model by inferring relationships in the data. The result is that the person building the report need not manually design a multidimensional model of the data, so less skilled end users can serve themselves to build their own data models that underpin dashboards and reports. Previously, end users were limited to parameterized reporting in which they could work only within the context of models previously designed by IT. Many vendors of analytics have been late in exploiting the power of search and therefore may be missing a critical feature that customers desire. Ventana Research is a proponent of such capabilities; my colleague Mark Smith has written about them in the context of data discovery technology. Search is fundamental to user-friendly discovery systems, as is reflected in the success of companies such as Google and Splunk. With search becoming more sophisticated, being based on machine-learning algorithms, we expect it to become a key requirement for new analytics and business intelligence systems.

Furthering the self-service aspect is the ability for end users to access and combine multiple data sets. The previous version of IBM Cognos (10.2.2) allowed users to work with “personal data sets” such as .csv files, but they needed an IBM DB2 back end to house the files. Now such data sets can be uploaded and managed directly on the IBM Cognos Analytics server and accessed with the new Web-based authoring tool. Once data sets are uploaded they can be accessed and modeled like any other object to which the user has access. In this way, IBM Cognos Analytics addresses the “bring your own data” challenge in which data sources such as personal spreadsheets must be integrated into enterprise analytics and business intelligence systems.

After modeling the data, users can lay out new dashboards using drag-and-drop capabilities like those found in IBM Watson Analytics. Dashboards can be previewed and put into service for one-time use or put into production mode if the user has such privileges. As is the case with IBM Watson Analytics, newly designed dashboard components such as tables, charts and maps are automatically linked so that changes in one part of the dashboard automatically relate to other parts. This feature facilitates ease of use in designing dashboards. Some other tools in the market require widgets to be connected manually, which can be time-consuming and is an impediment to prototyping of dashboards.

The move to a more self-service orientation has long been in the works for IBM Cognos and so this release is an important one for IBM. The ability to automatically integrate and model data gives the IT department a more defensible position as other self-service tools are introduced into the organization and are challenging data access and preparation built within tools like IBM Cognos. vr_DAC_20_justification_for_data_preparationThis is becoming especially important as the number and complexity of data sources increases and are needed more rapidly by business. Our research into information optimization shows that most organizations need to integrate at least six data sources and some have 20 or more sources they need to bring together. All of which confirms what our data and analytics in the cloud benchmark research finds data preparation to be a top priority in over half (55%) of organizations.

Over time, IBM intends to integrate the capabilities of Cognos Analytics with those of Watson Analytics. This is an important plan because IBM Watson Analytics has capabilities beyond those of self-service tools in the market today. In particular, the ability to explore unknown data relationships and do advanced analysis is a key differentiator for IBM Watson Analytics, as I have written. IBM Watson Analytics enables users to explore relationships in data that otherwise would not be noticeable, whereas IBM Cognos Analytics enables them to explore and put into production information based on predefined assumptions.

Going forward, I will be watching how IBM aligns Cognos Analytics with Watson Analytics, and in particular, how Cognos Analytics will fit into the IBM cloud ecosystem. Currently IBM Cognos Analytics is offered both on-premises and in a hosted cloud, but here also IBM is working to align it VR_AnalyticsandBI_VI_HotVendor_2015more closely with IBM Watson Analytics. Bringing in data preparation, data quality and MDM capabilities from the IBM DataWorks product could also benefit IBM Cognos Analytics users. IBM should emphasize the breadth of its portfolio of products including IBM Cognos TM1, IBM SPSS, IBM Watson Analytics and IBM DataWorks as it faces stiff competition in enterprise analytics and business intelligence from a host of analytics companies including new cloud-based ones. IBM is rated a Hot Vendor in our Ventana Research Analytics and Business Intelligence Value Index in part because of its overall portfolio.

For organizations already using IBM Cognos, the redesign addresses the need of end users to create their own dashboards while maintaining IT governance and control. The new interface may take some getting used to, but it is modern and more intuitive than previously. For companies new to IBM Cognos, as well as departments wanting to take a look at the platform, cloud options offer less risk. For those wanting early access to the new IBM Cognos Analytics, IBM has provided access to it on The changes I have noted move IBM Cognos Analytics closer to the advances in analytics as a whole, and I recommend that all these groups examine the new version.


Ventana Research

Tableau Software’s annual conference, which company spokespeople reported had more than 10,000 attendees, filled the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Various product announcements supported the company’s strategy to deliver value to analysts and users of visualization tools. Advances include new data preparation and integration features, advanced analytics and mapping. The company also announced the release of a stand-alone mobile application called Vizable . One key message management aimed to promote is that Tableau is more than just a visualization company.

Over the last few years Tableau has made strides in the analytics and business intelligence market with a user-centric philosophy and the ability to engage younger analysts who work in the lines of business rather than in IT. Usability continues to rank as the top criteria for selecting analytic and business intelligence software in all of our business analytics benchmark research. In this area Tableau has introduced innovations such as VizQL, originally developed at Stanford University, which links capabilities to query a database and to visualize data. This combination enables users not highly skilled in languages such as SQL or using proprietary business intelligence tools to create and share visually intuitive dashboards. The effect is to provide previously unavailable visibility into areas of their operations. The impact of being able to see and compare performance across operations and people often increases communication and knowledge sharing.

Tableau 9, released in April 2015, which I discussed, introduced advances including analytic ease of use and performance, new APIs, data preparation, storyboarding and Project Elastic, the precursor to this year’s announcement of Vizable. Adoption of 9.x appears to be robust given both the number of conference attendees and increases in third-quarter revenue ($170 million) and new customers (3,100) reported to the financial markets.

As was the case last year, conference announcements included some developments already on the market as well as some still to come. Among data preparation capabilities introduced are integration and automated spreadsheet cleanup. For the former, being able to join two data sets through a union function, which adds rows to form a single data set, and to do integration across databases by joining specific data fields gives users flexibility in combining, analyzing and visualizing multiple sets of data. For the latter, to automate the spreadsheet cleanup process Tableau examined usage patterns of Tableau Public to learn how users manually clean their spreadsheets. Then it used machine-learning algorithms to help users automate the tasks. Being able to automatically scan Excel files to find subtables and automatically transform data without manual calculations and parsing will save time for analysts who vr_LA_most_important_location_analytics_capabilitiesotherwise would have to do these tasks manually. Our benchmark research into information optimization shows that data preparation consumes the largest portion of time spent on analytics by nearly half (47%) of organizations and even higher in our latest data and analytics in the cloud benchmark research by 59 percent of organizations.

Advanced analytics is another area of innovation for Tableau. The company demonstrated developments in outlier detection and clustering analysis natively integrated with the software. Use of these features is straightforward and visually oriented, replacing the need for statistical charts with drag-and-drop manipulation. The software does not enable users to identify numbers of segments or filter the degree of the outliers, but the basic capability can reduce data sets to more manageable analytic sets and facilitate exploration of anomalous data points within large sets. The skill necessary for these tasks, unlike the interpretation of box plots introduced at last year’s conference, is more intuitive and better suited for business users of information.

The company also demonstrated new mapping and geospatial features at the conference. Capabilities to analyze down to the zip code on a global basis, define custom territories, support geospatial files, integrate with vr_LA_most_important_location_analytics_capabilitiesthe open source mapping platform MapBox and perform calculations within the context of a digital map are all useful features for location analytics, which is becoming more important in areas such as customer analytics and digital devices connected in the emerging Internet of things (IoT). Tableau is adding capabilities that participants most often cited as important in our research on location analytics: to provide geographic representation (72%), visualize metrics associated with locations (65%) and directly select and analyze locations on maps (61%).

Tableau insists that its development of new capabilities is guided by customer requests. This provides a source of opportunities to address user needs especially in the areas of data preparation, advanced analytics and location analytics. However, this strategy raises the question of whether it will ultimately put the company in conflict with the partners that have helped build the Tableau ecosystem and feed the momentum of the company thus far. Tableau is positioning its product as a fully featured analytic platform of the sort that I have outlined, but to achieve that eventually it will have to encroach on the capabilities that partners such as Alteryx, Datawatch, Informatica, Lavastorm, Paxata and Trifacta offer today. Another question is whether Tableau will continue its internal development strategy or opt to acquire companies that can broaden its capabilities that has hampered its overall value rating as identified in our 2015 Analytics and Business intelligence Value Index. In light of announcements at the conference, the path seems to be to develop these capabilities in-house. While there appears to be no immediate threat to the partnerships the continuation of development of some of these capabilities eventually will impact the partner business model in a more material way. Given that the majority of the deals for its partner ecosystem flows through Tableau itself, many of the partners are vulnerable to these development efforts. In addition I will be watching how aggressively Tableau helps to market Spark, the open source big data technology that I wrote about, as compared to some of the partner technologies that Spark threatens. Tableau has already built on Spark while some of its competitors have not, which may give Tableau a window of opportunity.

Going forward, integration with transactional systems and emerging cloud ecosystems is an area for Tableau that I will be watching. Given its architecture it’s not easy for Tableau to participate in the new generation of service-oriented architectures that characterize part of today’s cloud marketplace. For this reason, Tableau will need to continue to build out its own platform and the momentum of its ecosystem – which at this point does not appear to be a problem.

Finally, it will be interesting to see how Tableau eventually aligns its stand-alone data visualization application Vizable with its broader mobile strategy. We will be looking closely at the mobile market in our upcoming Mobile Analytics and Business Intelligence Value Index in the first half of 2016 where in our last analysis found Tableau was in the middle of the pack with other providers but they have made more investments since our last analysis.

We recommend that companies exploring analytics platforms, especially for on-premises and hosted cloud use, include Tableau on their short lists. Organizations that consider deploying Tableau on an enterprise basis should look closely at how it aligns with their broader user requirements and if their cloud strategy will meet its future needs. Furthermore, while the company has made improvements in manageability and performance, these can still be a concern in some circumstances. Tableau should be evaluated also with specific business objectives in mind and in conjunction with its partner ecosystem.


Ventana Research

In his keynote speech at the sixth annual Tableau Customer Conference, company co-founder and CEO Christian Chabot borrowed from Steve Jobs’ famous quote that the computer “is the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds,” to suggest that his company software is such a new bicycle. He went on to build an argument about the nature of invention and Tableau’s place in it. The people who make great discoveries, Chabot said, start with both intuition and logic. This approach allows them to look at ideas and information from different perspectives and to see things that others don’t see. In a similar vein, he went on, Tableau allows us to look at things differently, understand patterns and generate new ideas that might not arise using traditional tools. Cabot key point was profound: New technologies such as Tableau with its visual analytics software that use new and big data sources of information are enablers and accelerators of human understanding.

vr_bti_br_technology_innovation_prioritiesTableau represents a new class of business intelligence (BI) software that is designed for business analytics allowing users to visualize and interact on data in new ways and does not mandate that relationships in the data be predefined. This business analytics focus is critical as it is the top ranked technology innovation in business today as identified by 39 percent of organizations as found in our research. In traditional BI systems, data is modeled in so called cube or more defined structures which allow users to slice and dice data instantaneously and in a user friendly fashion. The cube structure solves the problem of abstracting the complexity of the structured query language (SQL) of the database and the inordinate amount of time it can take to read data from a row oriented database. However, with memory decreasing in cost significantly, the advent of new column oriented databases, and approaches such as VizQL (Tableau’s proprietary query language that allows for direct visual query of a database), the methods of traditional BI approaches are now challenged by new ones. Tableau has been able to effectively exploit the exploratory aspects of data through its technological approach, and even further with the advent of many of the new big data sources that require more discovery type methods.

After Chabot’s speech, Chris Stolte, Tableau’s co-founder and chief development officer, took the audience through the company’s product vision, which is centered around the themes of seamless access to data, visual analytics for everyone, ease of use and beauty, storytelling, and enterprise analytics everywhere. This is essential as we classify what Tableau is performing in their software as methods of discovery for business analytics for which my colleague points out the four types where Tableau currently has two of them with data and visual support. Most important is that Tableau is working to address a broader set of personas of users that I have outlined to the industry for its products and expanding further to analyst, publishers and data geeks. As part of Stolte’s address, the product team took the stage to discuss innovations coming in Tableau 8.1 scheduled for this fall of 2013 and 8.2 product releases due early in 2014 all of which have been publicly disclosed in their Internet broadcast of the keynote.

One of those innovations is a new connection interface that enables a workflow for connecting to data. It provides very light data integration capabilities with which users clean and reshape data in a number of ways. The software automatically detects inner join keys with a single click, and the new table shows up automatically. vr_infomgt_barriers_to_information_managementUsers can easily manipulate left and right joins as well as change the join field altogether. Once data is extracted and imported, new tools such as a data parser enable users to specify a specific date format. While these data integration capabilities are admittedly lightweight compared with tools such as Informatica or Pentaho (which just released its latest 5.0 platform) that is integrated with its business analytics offering, they are a welcome development for users who still spend the majority of their time cleaning, preparing and reviewing data compared to analyzing it. Our benchmark research on information management shows that dirty data is a barrier to information management 58 percent of the time. Tableau’s developments and others in the area of information management should continue to erode the entrenchment of tools inappropriately used for analytics, especially spreadsheets, which my colleague Robert Kugel has researched in the use and misuse of spreadsheets. These advancements in simpler and access to data are critical as 44 percent of organizations indicated more time is spent on data related activities compared to analytic tasks.

A significant development in the 8.1 release of Tableau is the integration of R, the open source programming language for statistics and predictive analytics. Advances in the R language through the R community have been robust and continue to gain steam, as I discussed recently in an analysis of opportunities and barriers for R. Tableau users will still need to know the details of R, but now output can be natively visualized in Tableau. Depending on their needs, use can gain a more integrated and advanced statistical experience with Tableau partner tools such as Alteryx, which both my colleague Richard Snow and I have written about this year. Alteryx integrates with R at a higher level of abstraction and also directly integrates with Tableau output. While R integration is important for Tableau to provide new capabilities, it should be noted that this is a single-threaded approach and will be limited to running in-memory. This will be a concern for those trying to analyze truly large data sets since a single thread approach limits the modeler to about a single terabyte of data. For now, Tableau likely will serve mostly as an R sandbox for sample data, but when users need to move algorithms into production for larger data, they probably will have to use a parallelized environment. Other BI vendors like Information Builders and WebFocus has already embedded R into its BI product that is designed for analysts and hides the complexities of R.

Beyond the R integration, Tableau showed useful descriptive analyst methods such as box plots and percentile aggregations. Forecast vr_predanalytics_top_predictive_techniques_usedimprovements facilitate change of prediction bands and adjustment of seasonality factors. Different ranking methods can be used, and two-pass totals provide useful data views. While these analytic developments are nice, they are not groundbreaking. Tools like BIRT Analytics, Datawatch Panopticon and Tibco Spotfire, are still ahead with their ability to visualize data models in many methods like decision trees and clustering methods. Meanwhile, SAP just acquired KXEN and will likely start to integrate predictive capabilities into SAP Lumira, its visual analytics platform. SAS is also integrating easy-to-use high-end analytics into its Visual Analytics tool, and IBM’s SPSS and Cognos Insight work together for advanced analytics. Our research on predictive analytics shows that classification trees (69%) followed by regression techniques and association rules (66% and 61%, respectively) are the statistical techniques most often used in organizations today. Tableau also indicated future investments into improving location and maps with visualization. This goal aligns with our Location Analytics research which found 48 percent of business has found that using location analytics significantly improves their business process.  Tableau advancements in visualizing analytics is great for the analysts and data geeks but it is still beyond competencies of information consumers. At the same time, Tableau has done what Microsoft has not done with Microsoft Excel: simplicity in preparing analytics for interactive visualization and discovery. In addition Tableau is easily accessible by mobile technology like Tablets which is definitely not a strong spot for Microsoft.

Making it easier for analysts and knowledge workers, Tableau has two-click copy and paste in dashboards between workbooks and is a significant development that allows users to organize visualizations in an expedient fashion. They store the collection of data and visualization in folders from the data window, where they access all the components that are used for discovery. They also can support search to find any detail easily. Transparency features and quick filter formatting allow users to match brand logos and colors. Presentation mode allows full-screen center display, and calendar controls let users select dates in ways they are familiar with from using other calendaring tools. What was surprising is that Tableau did not show how to present supporting information to the visualization like free form text that is what analysts do in using Microsoft Powerpoint and support the integration of content/documents that is not just structured data. My colleague has pointed to the failures of business intelligence and what analysts need to provide more context and information to the visualization, and it appears Tableau is starting to address them.

Tableau developer Robert Kosara showed a Tableau 8.2 feature called Storypoints, which puts a navigator at the top of the screen and pulls together different visualizations to support a logical argument. This is important to advance the potential issue my colleague has pointed out with what we have in visual anarchy today. Storypoints are linked directly to data visualizations from which you can navigate across and see varying states of the visualization. Storytelling is of keen interest to analysts, because it is the primary way in which they prepare information and analytics for review and in support of the decision making needs in the organization. Encapsulating the observations in telling a story though requires more than navigation across states of visualization with a descriptive caption. It should support embedding of descriptive information related to the visualization and not just to navigation across it. Tableau has more to offer with its canvas layout and embedding other presentation components but did not spend much time outlining what is fully possible today. The idea of storytelling and collaboration is a hot area of development, with multiple approaches coming to market including those from Datameer, Roambi, Yellowfin and QlikTech (with its acquisition of NcomVA, a Swedish visualization company). These approaches need to streamline the cumbersome process of copying data from Excel into PowerPoint, building charts and annotating slides. Tableau’s Storypoints and the ability to guide navigation on the visualizations and copy and paste dashboards together are good first steps that can be a superior alternative to just using a personal productivity approach with Microsoft Office, but Tableau will still need more depth to replicate the flexibility in particular of Microsoft Powerpoint.

The last area of development, and perhaps the most important for Tableau, is making the platform and tools more enterprise ready. Security, availability, scalability and manageability are the hallmarks of an enterprise-grade application, and Tableau is advancing in each of these areas. The Tableau 8.1 release includes external load-balancing support and more dynamic support for host names. Companies using the SAML standard can administer a single sign-on that delegates authentication to an identity provider. IPv6 support for next-generation Internet apps and, perhaps most important from a scalability perspective, 64-bit architecture have been extended across the product line. (Relevant to this last development, Tableau Desktop in version 8.2 will operate natively on Apple Mac, which garnered perhaps the loudest cheer of the day from the mostly youthful attendees). For proof of its scalability, Tableau pointed to Tableau Public, which fields more than 70,000 views each day. Furthermore, Tableau’s cloud implementation called Tableau Online offers a multi-tenant architecture and a columnar database for scalability, performance and unified upgrades for cloud users. Providing a cloud deployment is critical according to our research that found that a quarter of organizations prefer a cloud approach; however cloud BI applications have seen slower adoption.

Enterprise implementations are the battleground on which Tableau wants to compete and is making inroads through rapid adoption by the analysts who are responsible for analytics across the organization. During the keynote, Chabot took direct aim at legacy business intelligence vendors, suggesting that using enterprise BI platform tools is akin to tying a brick to a pen and trying to draw. Enterprise BI platforms, he argued, are designed to work in opposition to great thinking. They are not iterative and exploratory in nature but rather developed in a predefined fashion. While this may be true in some cases, those same BI bricks are often the foundation of many organizations and they are not always easy to remove. Last year I argued in analyzing Tableau 8.0 that the company was not ready to compete for larger BI implementations. New developments coming this year address some of these shortcomings, but there is still the lingering question of the entrenchment of BI vendors and the metrics that are deployed broadly in organizations. Companies such as IBM, Oracle and SAP have a range of applications including finance, planning and others that reside at the heart of most organizations, and these applications can dictate the metrics and key indicators to which people and organizations are held accountable. For Tableau to replace them would require more integration with the established metrics and indicators that are managed within these tools and associated databases. For large rollouts driven by well-defined parameterized reporting needs and interaction with enterprise applications, Tableau still has work to do. Furthermore, every enterprise BI vendor has its own visual offering and is putting money into catching up to Tableau.

In sum, Tableau’s best-in-class ease of use does serve as a bicycle for the analytical mind, and with its IPO this year, Tableau is pedaling as fast as ever to continue its innovations. We research thousands of BI deployments and recently awarded Cisco our Business Technology Leadership Award in Analytics for 2013 for its use of Tableau Software. VR_leadershipwinnerCisco, who has many business intelligence (BI) tools, uses Tableau to design analytics and visualize data in multiple areas of its business. Tableau’s ability to capture the hearts and minds of those analysts that are responsible for analytics, and demonstrate business value in short period of time, or what is called time-to-value (TTV) and even more important for big data as I have pointed out, is why they are growing rapidly building a community and passion towards its products. Our research finds that business is driving adoption of business analytics which helps Tableau avoid the politics of IT while addressing the top selection criteria of usability. In addition, the wave of business improvement initiatives are changing how 60 percent of organizations select technology with buyers no longer simply accepting the IT standard or existing technology approach. Buyers both on the IT and in business should pay close attention to these trends and for all organizations looking to compete with analytics through simple but elegant visualizations should consider Tableau’s offerings.


Tony Cosentino

VP and Research Director

As volumes of data grow in organizations, so do the number of deployments of Hadoop, and as Hadoop becomes widespread, more organizations demand data analysis, ease of use and visualization of large data sets. In our benchmark research on Hadoop, 88 percent of organizations said analyzing Hadoop data is important, and in our research on business analytics 89 percent said it is important to make it simpler to provide analytics and metrics to all users who need them. As my colleague Mark Smith has noted, Datameer has an ambitious plan to tackle these issues. It aims to provide a single solution in lieu of the common three-step process involving data integration, data warehouse and BI, giving analysts the ability to apply analytics and visualization to find the dynamic “why” behind data rather than just the static “what.”

The Datameer approach places Hadoop at the center of the computing environment rather than looking at it as simply another data source. This, according to company officers, allows Datameer to analyze large, diverse data sets in ways that traditional approaches cannot, which in turn enables end users to answer questions that may have fallen outside of the purview of the standard information architecture. However, Datameer does not offer its software as a replacement for traditional systems but as a complement to them. The company positions its product to analyze interaction data and data relationships to supplement transactional data analysis of which both are key types of big data that need analysis. Of course, given that most companies are not likely to rip and replace years of system investment and user loyalty, this coexistence strategy is a pragmatic one.

Datameer approaches analytics via a spreadsheet environment. This, too, is pragmatic because, as our business analytics benchmark research shows, spreadsheets are the number-one tool used to generate analytics (by 60% of organizations). Datameer provides descriptive analysis and an interactive dialog box for nested joins of large data sets, but the tool moves beyond traditional analysis with its ability to provide analytics for unstructured data. Path and pattern analyses enable discovery of patterns in massive data sets. Relational statistics, including different cluster techniques, allow for data reduction and latent variable groupings. Data parsing technology is a big part of unstructured data analysis, and Datameer provides prebuilt algorithms for social media text analytics and blogs, among other sources. In all, more than 200 prebuilt algorithms come standard in the Datameer tool set. In addition, users can access spreadsheet macros, open APIs to integrate functions and use the Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML) for model exchange.

In Datameer’s latest version 2.0 it has advanced in providing business infographics tool that provides a visualization layer that enables exploratory data analysis (EDA) through a standard library of widgets, including graphs, charts, diagrams, maps and word clouds. Visualization is one of the key areas lacking in big data deployments today. Analysts work in a free-form layout environment with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop paradigm. Datameer’s WYSIWYG editor provides real-time management of the creation and layout of infographics, allowing analysts to see exactly what the end design will look like as they create it. It also now distributes through HTML5, which allows cross-platform delivery to multiple environments. This is particularly important as Datameer is targeting the enterprise environment, and HTML5 provides a low-maintenance “build once, deploy anywhere” model for mobile platforms.

Datameer is an innovative company, but its charter is a big one, given that it is in a competitive environment at multiple levels of the value delivery chain. Its ability to seamlessly integrate analytics and visualization tools on the Hadoop platform is a unique value proposition; at the same time, it will likely need to put more effort into visualization that is available from other data discovery players. All in all, for enterprises looking to take advantage of large-scale data in the near term that don’t want to wait for other vendors to provide integrated tools on top of Hadoop, Datameer is a company to consider.


Tony Cosentino – VP & Research Director

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