Today super cool, “machine learning” powered data prep vendor Trifacta announced several significant enhancements for the free, community edition of Wrangler. For those of you that are not familiar with this nice solution, Trifacta Wrangler is a community version of the Trifacta’s enterprise data prep offering. The latest free version will include features from the recent version 4 release of Wrangler Enterprise.

Trifacta Wrangler

Today tens of thousands of users at more than 4,500 companies in 133 countries around the world use Trifacta Wrangler. Analytics pros that blend data together have loved Wrangler for a while now. Here is a quick two minute demo of it.

Last summer I had the pleasure of evaluating Trifacta. I found it to be easy, fun and quite powerful. The free part is of course pretty great too. It is available on-premises or in the cloud. One aspect that I totally loved was the “machine learning” powered data preparation. Trifacta predicts user needs and makes suggestions. It also allows editing of created scripts for those of us that like to see what is happening or whip up extraordinary data transformation recipes.

I found Trifacta to shine brightly with unnesting JSON data sources. I also liked the close relationship with Waterline data catalog. Aspects in the enterprise version that I appreciated include:

  • Scheduling for automation of transformation scripts
  • Big data ecosystem strengths – intelligently select best fit task (MapReduce, Spark or Javascript)
  • Good governance, integration points and features for security, access controls, data lineage and metadata
  • Cloudera Navigator integration for Hive metastore and bi-directional lineage

All in all, Trifacta is an up and coming player with a solid foundation to continue rocking the big data analytics space.

What is New, Wild and Exciting

Getting back to Trifacta’s announcement today, in this latest release there are several highlighted features. The first one provides a more intuitive means to create wrangling logic. New Builder brings a fantastic guided experience for crafting steps in your wrangling recipe. The interface automatically breaks down each of the elements of the wrangling operation and provides extensive descriptive guidance, examples and intelligent suggestions to guide nontechnical users through building wrangling steps. Builder is intended to make the process of crafting wrangling steps from scratch more intuitive and efficient. New users can start being productive with Wrangler faster than ever, and complex wrangling tasks become possible for any user.

The next excellent enhancement vastly improves scale and performance. Several months ago, an announcement was made regarding Photon Compute Engine – an entirely new data processing engine that has been embedded into the Trifacta application and Intelligent Execution architecture. In this latest update of Wrangler, the product team replaced the previous data processing engine packaged in Wrangler with Photon, providing fast data processing and improved application performance at each stage of building your data preparation recipe.

With Photon, 20x more data volume can be visualized and interactively wrangled in the Transformer grid with immediate UI responsiveness.

Another interesting addition to the Wrangler product is incorporation of live chat support directly within the Wrangler application. This aligns to a few trends that I am seeing in the industry. Modern live chat support offerings are being powered by cognitive applications such as IBM Watson that make building a chat-bot way too easy now. I don’t know if this is the case with Trifacta but for analytics pros struggling to come up with the right recipe, it will be an invaluable time saver.

Yay! Last summer when I tested Trifacta it did not have fuzzy joins. In this version, we get them. With Trifacta’s new Fuzzy Join feature, end users can join together data sets with similar but inexact join key matches. This eliminates the need to perform painful standardization processes across disparate datasets prior to join execution. Instead, users can select text standardization options and preview the match quality as an integrated part of the join process.

The Trifacta product team has also been burning the midnight oil per se creating more tutorials, improving the knowledge base and creating support content to provide Wrangler users an awesome user experience.

Download and Enjoy!

If you are already a Wrangler fan and user, the Wrangler desktop should automatically update to the new version upon opening the application. To explore these new features and many more hidden gems, you can download Wrangler from You can’t beat the price for this fabulous free find.