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Big Data’s Biggest Player – Meet Pentaho

At the cross­roads where tra­di­tion­al busi­ness intel­li­gence meets big data you’ll find Pen­ta­ho, the com­pa­ny mak­ing inroads con­vert­ing the lat­est tech trend into seri­ous­ly use­ful information.

Based in Orlan­do, the Open Source busi­ness intel­li­gence and ana­lyt­ics provider claims to offer clients user-dri­ven, inter­ac­tive visu­al­iza­tion and data explo­ration func­tion­al­i­ty and could give any­one look­ing for tech­nol­o­gy or media jobs some seri­ous opportunities.

What’s more any­one using the company’s tools can access all infor­ma­tion sources, includ­ing big data and there’s the chance to use an inter­face with which Soft­ware as a Ser­vice (SaaS) com­pa­nies to add their own visualizations.

Sounds com­pli­cat­ed, but the ideas have sub­stance as a $23 mil­lion Series C round will attest.  Well, it’s being referred to as a Series C, but it’s actu­al­ly Pentaho’s fifth round and brings its fund­ing total to a cool $55 mil­lion. Add to that the fact the com­pa­ny saw a 300% increase in big data sales up to Sep­tem­ber 2012 over the same peri­od in 2011 and you have a seri­ous play­er on your hands.

Sounds Impres­sive, But What Does it All Mean?

The web­site claims ‘Pen­ta­ho tight­ly cou­ples data inte­gra­tion with busi­ness ana­lyt­ics in a mod­ern plat­form that brings togeth­er IT and busi­ness users to eas­i­ly access, visu­al­ize and explore all data that impacts busi­ness results’.

In plain Eng­lish, the com­pa­ny offers users a suite of Open Source Busi­ness Intel­li­gence tools labelled Pen­ta­ho Busi­ness Ana­lyt­ics which com­prise data inte­gra­tion, online ana­lyt­i­cal process (OLAP) ser­vices, report­ing, data min­ing and extract, trans­form and load (ETL) capabilities.

Pen­ta­ho pro­vides two ver­sions of its Pen­ta­ho Busi­ness Ana­lyt­ics pack­age – a com­mu­ni­ty edi­tion and an enter­prise edi­tion.  The lat­ter is pur­chased on a sub­scrip­tion basis and includes ser­vices, sup­port and upgrades and three vari­ants – Basic, Pro­fes­sion­al and Enter­prise, while the com­mu­ni­ty edi­tion is a free, open source product.

It is this open source her­itage that makes Pen­ta­ho the per­fect choice for around 1000 big hit­ters includ­ing Spec­Savers, Ideeli, Mar­ke­to and Swis­s­Port who have cho­sen Pentaho’s Enter­prise edi­tion to pro­vide their analytics.

What Does the Com­pa­ny Have to Say?

Fol­low­ing this lat­est fund­ing round, which saw input from New Enter­prise Asso­ciates, Index Ven­tures, Bench­mark Cap­i­tal and DAG Ven­tures, Pen­ta­ho is look­ing to push ahead and devel­op its stake in big data analytics.

CEO Quentin Gal­li­van said: “Pen­ta­ho has a proven big data strat­e­gy with over 300% increase in big data sales for the first nine months of 2012 over the same peri­od in 2011,” he said.

“This Series C invest­ment allows Pen­ta­ho to keep pace with fast-mov­ing tech­nol­o­gy inno­va­tions, recruit the nec­es­sary tal­ent to exe­cute on our big data strat­e­gy, and to expand our lead­er­ship in big data analytics,”

Again, this is encour­ag­ing for those who are on the look­out for tech­nol­o­gy jobs and have the track record to show they can keep up with the rapid pace set by the likes of Pentaho.

Investor Har­ry Weller of NEA agrees with Gal­li­van and is look­ing for­ward to tak­ing the busi­ness forward.

He said: ““Pen­ta­ho has carved out a mas­sive oppor­tu­ni­ty as an ana­lyt­ics and intel­li­gence lay­er for a wave of web-scale, open-source data solu­tions. With a robust plat­form that com­ple­ments tech­nol­o­gy offer­ings across the big data stack, Pen­ta­ho is help­ing its cus­tomers realise the true poten­tial of big data.”

And the Future?

As it moves towards fur­ther devel­op­ing its big data capa­bil­i­ties, upgrades to Pen­ta­ho Busi­ness Ana­lyt­ics 4.5 include improved data visu­al­iza­tion, which offers users the abil­i­ty to actu­al­ly visu­al­ize big data. The company’s inter­ac­tive visu­al ana­lyt­ics include las­so fil­ter­ing, zoom and attribute high­light­ing across all chart types.

Pentaho’s big data func­tions also offer dis­tri­b­u­tion across Hadoop clus­ters and expand­ed NoSQL data­base inte­gra­tion includ­ing detailed report­ing through Apache Cas­san­dra, DataS­tax and MongoDB.

It cer­tain­ly seems that Pentaho’s offer is a com­pre­hen­sive one that will increas­ing­ly embrace the big data move­ment; how­ev­er the improve­ments must con­tin­ue for it to keep ahead of oth­er big data ana­lyt­ics play­ers such as Ora­cle, IBM, SASM SAP, Jedox and Jaspersoft.

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