We are in an era of incredible opportunity for big data to transform the enterprise in ways that just weren’t possible or practical before.
This becomes more evident every time I speak with our customers who are using Platfora to discover and analyze their data to make critical business decisions that are grounded in the data that matters. We believe though, that for big data to truly be transformative, it needs to be accessible to everyone across the enterprise including data scientists and subject matter experts in your line-of-business functions such as marketing analysts, information security analysts and product managers. These users need to be empowered with self-service access to interact with big data at any level of granularity through a simple and intuitive platform.
With the announcement of Platfora Big Data Analytics 3.5 today, we continue to eliminate the friction between these users and the opportunity to leverage big data. In this release, we’ve focused on providing open access to big data to support core production workflows along with over two dozen enhancements to optimize the user experience.
Integrate Big Data into Production Workflows
I’ve consistently been impressed by how customers have taken advantage of our full-stack platform. Through Platfora’s simple workflow, users can wrangle, transform and aggregate multi-structured data into Platfora “lenses”. Now with the addition of programmatic query access, data scientists can leverage their existing programming skills, like SQL, to tightly integrate lenses into production workflows. Using this feature, lenses can be pushed to R for statistical analysis and modelling. Users can also integrate data from lenses into other decision systems downstream such as recommendation or bidding engines — and do this all with the benefit of our scale-out in-memory engine. Production workflows across the enterprise can now operate with the most relevant data across transactions, customer interactions and machine data. If you’re not a data scientist, Platfora is also providing bulk data export capabilities in multiple locations throughout our user interface. Business users can export data from any Platfora object including data sets, lenses and visualizations. The export feature provides a CSV file for download to the desktop or data can be pushed back into HDFS.
Access to Public and Private Data Sources
At Platfora, we also recognize that the data deluge is just getting started. This means that the real potential to use data as a competitive advantage is in making sense of the data that is truly relevant to your business and your market. To ensure that all the relevant data is at hand, Platfora is introducing data connectors which provide a plugin framework to connect to other public data sources (e.g. census or weather data) or enterprise tools (e.g. CRM, marketing automation or support ticketing systems). To help customers get started, Platfora will provide a production-ready example connector to RDBMS systems.
Refreshed User Experience
Along our journey to build a comprehensive Big Data Analytics platform, a core company value has always been design + technology. In support of this, we are releasing over two dozen new enhancements to Platfora Vizboards. Existing users will notice a refreshed design and styling, updated contextual menus to improve discoverability, interactive charts and cross-tabs, along with other changes to make visual data discovery more appealing, intuitive and collaborative. Business users will have more flexibility and consistency to derive insights faster.
Future-Proofing Your Hadoop Investments
As a native Big Data Analytics platform, we are committed to supporting the constantly growing innovation in the Apache Hadoop ecosystem. This ensures that the investments our customers are making in Hadoop are protected and leveraged by Platfora. With this release we have qualified support for Cloudera CDH 5, MapR 3.0, and coming support for Hortonworks HDP 2.1 in June. This is in addition to existing support for Pivotal and Amazon Web Services.
Getting Value from Big Data
Today, customers like Citi, Comcast, Opower, and The Washington Post are applying Big Data Analytics to answer their business critical questions around customer analytics, security and compliance, the Internet of Things (IoT) and many other use cases. Paytronix, a leader in restaurant rewards and loyalty programs, is using Platfora to provide a 360-degree view of restaurant patrons across web, social, mobile and in-store experience data. For the first time, their business users have a self-service platform to interactively traverse all of these multi-structured data sources together and derive insights in hours, not weeks or months. Armed with this data, Paytronix is building engaging customer experiences that bring diners back for more.
Customers can download Platfora version 3.5 starting May 16, 2014.