Exploring the Possibilities: Insights from Gartner Data & Analytics Summit
by Ron Powell
Originally published March 20, 2017
The recent Gartner Data & Analytics Summit in Grapevine, Texas, was excellent. The Summit focused on eight key areas: leadership, strategy, master data management, analytics, governance, architecture, advanced capabilities and innovation.
Additionally, the Gartner keynotes and customer presentations were outstanding and featured some of the most advanced analytics technologies. My favorite talk, Leading in the Age of Infinite Possibilities, was delivered by Debra Logan and Kurt Schlegel of Gartner. They highlighted the fact that as data has become more accessible and abundant digitally, we are now able to gain insights that we could never have imagined.
Debra and Kurt also discussed three key areas that every company needs to focus on to increase competitiveness in this age of data abundance and analytics. Relating that it is imperative for organizations to rethink their leadership, they talked about why it is now time for a chief data officer, how to turn consumers into producers and how to create a decision-making culture. Debra and Kurt also discussed the benefits of modernizing your technology, emphasizing the importance of virtualization and scalability, the ability to learn deeply, and the growing role of bots. They also provided tips for maximizing your business contribution including how to transform data governance into a business enabler, how to apply analytics to improve your business model and how to move from analog into digital experiences. It was a very insightful presentation and shows the importance of attending conferences and hearing from the analysts. This has become one of the better conferences in the industry as it not only provides critical insights but also showcases the best customer implementations in the areas of data and analytics.
While at the Summit, I also had the opportunity to meet with several companies who are providing some of the advanced technologies and capabilities that were being highlighted by Gartner. Following is a brief summary of what these companies provide.
Alation provides a data catalog that is an important requirement for all companies that want to provide self-service analytics. In addition to being required, it magnifies the ROI for both business intelligence and analytics. They support all of the business intelligence solutions, including Tableau, MicroStrategy and others.
Arcadia Data unifies visual exploration and back-end data analytics in one integrated enterprise platform that runs natively on Hadoop clusters. The visual, analytics and data layers are converged to provide accelerated access to all of the data stored within Hadoop.
Attunity, a data integration and big data management company, enables real-time analytics and IoT initiatives by delivering data when and where needed. They recently released Replicate for SAP and currently support all data platforms – from mainframes and traditional databases and data warehouses, to Hadoop, Apache Kafka, and the cloud.
Birst provides a next-generation platform for enterprise BI and analytics, connecting the entire organization through a network of interwoven virtualized BI instances on a shared common analytical fabric. Birst enterprise BI delivers the speed, self-service, and agility front-line business workers demand with the scalability, security and control to meet rigorous corporate data standards.
Black Swan helps customers by building algorithms that predict customer behavior and identify trends.Through software that applies the algorithms, their customers see significant sales growth, customer retention and internal process efficiencies, all positively impacting their bottom lines.
CARTO focuses on location intelligence and helps companies discover and predict key insights from location data. Their products include CARTO Engine, an embeddable platform for web and mobile apps, helps companies optimize operational performance, strategic investments and everyday decisions. Their drag-and-drop analysis tool – CARTO Builder – helps companies gain insights from location data.
Cloudera provides Apache Hadoop-based software, support and services, and training. Cloudera helps companies use data to transform their businesses by driving new customer insights, improving the services and products provided, and even lowering risk for the enterprise and the customers.
Collibra focuses on data governance. They build and sell the software and operating models, and provide professional services to speed their customers’ journeys to true data governance.
Continuum Analytics is the maker of Anaconda, a leading open data science platform powered by Python, and they are the largest Python distributor. Anaconda empowers data science teams to accelerate deployments by speeding up analysis and integrating data sources – from an enterprise data hub, or a cloud infrastructure – for predictive models.
Dataiku provides a collaborative data science software platform for teams of data scientists, data analysts and engineers to explore, prototype, build and deliver their own data products more efficiently.
Datawatch products empower customers to solve some of the most difficult data challenges easily. Datawatch products unlock data from the widest variety of sources and prepare it for use with visualization tools or other business processes. For real-time visibility into rapidly changing data, Datawatch enables the visualization of streaming data for the most demanding business environments such as capital markets.
Domo helps companies to optimize business performance by connecting employees – from the CEO to the front-line worker – to the right data and people. Domo’s Business Cloud is a customizable platform that enables decision makers to identify and act on strategic opportunities in real time.
Informatica LLC focuses solely on data integration, and they provide business solutions for data and big data in the cloud, on-premises or in a hybrid environment.
Information Builders announced at the Summit that it is helping organizations act on the Internet of Things (IoT), and turning this information into actionable intelligence. The company’s big data integration tools ensure the quality and accuracy of IoT data, and its WebFOCUS platform enables organizations to conduct analytics on this information and present the resulting insights in the right way to the right business user. Information Builders also hosted two sessions at the show, including one on data monetization.
Izenda is an embedded self-service BI and analytics platform that integrates seamlessly with applications to deliver BI and analytics directly to application end users who want to easily analyze, visualize, and share valuable data and insights in real time.
Kinetica is a GPU-accelerated, in-memory analytics database that delivers real-time response to queries on large, complex and streaming data sets. Kinetica is used to simultaneously ingest, explore, analyze and visualize data within milliseconds to make critical decisions and find efficiencies, lower cost, generate new revenue, and improve customer experience.
Kognitio software provides an ultra-fast, high concurrency SQL layer that allows modern data visualization tools to maintain interactive performance, even when the data volume is large and the user count high. The software also supports sophisticated NoSQL capabilities enabling scale-out advanced analytics alongside the ultra-fast, fully functional SQL.
MicroStrategy provides a comprehensive platform that supports everything from data discovery to advanced analytics, pixel-perfect dashboards, automated report distribution and mobile apps, giving enterprises the full breadth of capabilities they need to transform their data into real-world intelligence. According to Gartner, “MicroStrategy had some of the highest product ratings of any vendor in the Magic Quadrant for business intelligence and analytics, both overall and for all the evaluated use cases.”
Pentaho supports complex big data and IoT implementations. Pentaho is able to blend and analyze a wide variety traditional data, unstructured data, ad hoc files and NoSQL databases. The company was recently recognized by Gartner for “not taking the easy route of accessing Hadoop via Hive and for offering native integration with Spark, Cassandra and MongoDB.”
Podium Data accelerates data delivery to the business by more than 25x and reduces data preparation costs by 40% by allowing enterprises to replace their traditional data supply chain with a big data ready enterprise scale data-as-a-service platform. Their solution, the Podium Data Marketplace, is a turnkey, end-to-end big data management platform that gives business analysts self-service, on-demand access to trusted data while ensuring quality and control.
SAS continues to work with business users, analysts and citizen data scientists using self-service BI, discovery and analytics to address their changing business needs. SAS Visual Analytics is an integrated suite of web applications that offers intuitive, drag-and-drop interactions, rapid, highly visual responses, and role-based access to functionality. Administrators prepare data sources and load them to memory.
Semarchy focuses on Intelligent Master Data Management. Unlike traditional approaches to master data management solutions, Semarchy xDM is a true multi-vector MDM solution that focuses on empowering organizations and consulting partners to build and maintain reference and master data solutions incrementally as requirements evolve over time.
Sisense is a business intelligence software vendor that provides an intuitive way to create insights and business value from complex data by analyzing large, disparate data sets. Sisense was recognized by Gartner as a Visionary for Business Intelligence and Analytics in the 2017 report. The platform handles the full BI cycle, providing a simple way to prepare, analyze and visualize all your data regardless of size or source. The company is leading the disruption of the traditional BI market having introduced AI and IoT technologies in 2016 that further humanize analytics and make it easier for everyone, everywhere to instantly access business insights.
Splice Machine makes it easy to develop and create modern, real-time, scalable applications or to offload operational and analytical workloads from other systems. Typical use cases include ETL, operational reporting or real-time applications.
Tamr is an enterprise-scale data unification company that helps companies extract value from their data. Their patented software platform uses machine learning supplemented by human expertise to unify and prepare data across myriad silos to deliver previously unavailable business-changing insights.
Teradata provides database-related products and services, including the Teradata Database. The company recently announced Teradata IntelliCloud, the next-generation secure managed cloud offering, provides data and analytic software as a service (SaaS). Teradata also announced Kylo, a data lake management software platform built using the latest open source capabilities such as Apache Hadoop, Apache Spark and Apache NiFi. Kylo is a Teradata sponsored, open-source project that is offered under the Apache 2.0 license.
ThoughtSpot is a next-generation analytics platform powered by a relational search engine that was built to make it easy to analyze billions of rows of data across multiple data sources, while delivering sub-second performance and enterprise-wide governance. ThoughtSpot connects with any on-premises, cloud, big data, or desktop data source.
Trifacta provides data wrangling software that enhances the value of an enterprise’s big data by enabling users to easily transform and enrich raw, complex data into clean and structured formats for analysis.
WhereScape helps anyone rapidly accelerate the data warehouse processes by automating and generating the code that otherwise needs to be written by hand.
Zaloni is a data lake management company that helps companies leverage, manage and govern data at scale in order to reduce business risk, better understand their customers, reduce time to market and monetize their data by creating new revenue streams. Their solutions-based approach, called Data Lake 360, combines transformational technology with leading-edge data management services expertise.
Zoomdata is an open platform that provides visual analytics solutions for big and fast data. Architected for both cloud and on-premises deployments, its architecture delivers visual analysis of huge datasets in seconds and visual analytics for real-time streaming and historical data.
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