October was a strange month – shocking, distressing, interesting and exciting all at the same time. Countless vendors announced enhanced offerings and/or significant partnerships in the cyclical conference craze. This past month opened with a data virtualization acquisition by TIBCO. Then we got the annual scoop at Tableau Conference (or should I say we think we did). The month closed with Yellowfin and Pyramid Analytics both unveiling compelling platform updates with augmented analytics and machine learning capabilities. In between, we saw more signs of analytics market consolidation. Here is my monthly summary of filtered highlights. Better late than never.
Pyramid Analytics 2018
Last week Pyramid Analytics 2018 was revealed and it looks amazing. Pyramid Analytics 2018 is a massive platform-agnostic update and improvement over previous versions of Pyramid Analytics. One of the most significant changes in the 2018 release is added support for numerous data source types versus the previous dependency on Microsoft Analysis Services OLAP cubes. This one change alone expands the solution total addressable market and channel partnership potential.
Pyramid Analytics 2018 was designed with a scalable architecture that helps data leaders manage their data strategies across any environment: on-premises, in the cloud, or across hybrid deployments regardless of preferred vendor technology (Google, Amazon, Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, etc.). With Pyramid 2018, non-technical business users can easily prepare, model, visualize, analyze, publish, and present analytics from a web browser or mobile device. This latest version empowers both self-service business intelligence and high-end analytics in a unified governed environment.
One of the specific areas that I am interested in evaluating is the new artificial intelligence and machine learning engine support for R, Python, TensorFlow, Weka, MLIB, SAS runtime and others. I rarely see Weka these days – I do still teach Weka in my data science in a day class since it is easy for beginners to learn. These integrated data science capabilities enable organizations to build, integrate and operationalize machine learning algorithms into self-service BI workflows. Users can write and share their own calculations and algorithms, or use existing algorithms from an online marketplace that was also added.
For more information or a hands-on trial of Pyramid Analytics 2018, check out the Pyramid Analytics website. I also noticed an upcoming webinar on November 14th led by a talented peer of mine, Peter Sprague.
A cool vendor that you don’t hear about much yet in the USA is Yellowfin. I have known about this group for a long time but I rarely ran into them. Recently I was given a sneak peek of Yellowfin 7.4 and was delighted by it. I’m going to forecast that Yellowfin will be a vendor to watch in 2018 because of this latest release.
In Yellowfin 7.4, I saw powerful, superbly designed augmented analytics. I also genuinely appreciated new machine learning PMML API integration via a URL endpoint. Yellowfin has done a lovely job infusing automated, augmented analytics for business users. Truth be told, I was hoping to see what Yellowfin demonstrated when I attended a different vendor event this month.
All in all, Yellowfin 7.4 brings three main enhancements 1) automated insights 2) new data transformation features and 3) advanced analytics integration that simplify using predictive models within the Yellowfin analytics platform. For more information on this release, check out the press release or visit the Yellowfin website.
TIBCO Continues to Impress
TIBCO continues to impress and captivate me with excellent, complementary acquisitions for next generation analytics. This month they entered into an agreement to acquire Cisco’s Data Virtualization business for enterprise-scale data virtualization. This strategic move strengthens TIBCO’s portfolio for hybrid analytics, cloud and IoT.
For analytics pros that do not know about data virtualization, check out my overview on this technology and the emergence of logical data warehouses in enterprise data strategies. Data virtualization is one of my favorite solutions for delivering flexible, agile analytics with data residing anywhere and everywhere.
Additional news came out of TIBCO NOW. Although I wanted to attend that event, I will be going to the upcoming Energy Forum since Mr. Underwood is in the power business. In the meantime, here are the other TIBCO updates this month.
- TIBCO Expands Cloud Platform
- TIBCO Collaborates with Amazon Web Services to Deliver Serverless Integration
- TIBCO Makes Enterprise-Class Messaging Available to Everyone
- TIBCO Embraces Open Source with Microservices and Event-Driven Microgateways
- TIBCO Expands Cloud Platform to Include Messaging and Spotfire
Tableau Annual Conference
Nothing else quite compares to the annual Tableau Conference. This event has grown from 140 attendees in 2007 to over 14,000 data enthusiasts in 2017. The vibrant Tableau community passion was palpable – as always. This special group launched #data17donates to help those affected by the recent tragedy in Las Vegas to give back to the local community during the event. For those of you who missed the conference, you can still watch keynotes and enjoy top sessions on the Tableau Conference 2017 Live site.
In a detailed article posted earlier this month, I shared my perspectives on what I saw, heard, craved, and read between the lines during industry analyst sessions. If you are a Tableau fan or follower, be sure to read every word of that one.
MicroStrategy 10.9 Released
MicroStrategy 10.9 introduced Dossier, a new storybook experience for everyone across the enterprise that makes it easy to consume, share, and collaborate around analytics. To learn more about Dossier and other new features in MicroStrategy 10.9, visit the What’s New in MicroStrategy page.
Interestingly, this month I also learned that MicroStrategy allows connectivity from BI apps to the proprietary platform. That was big news to me and several other folks in my extended network. It is refreshing to see more open connectivity between traditional BI vendors with modern BI vendors. This used to be quite a challenge when designing hybrid analytics solution architecture. In reality, many large organizations use multiple BI platforms and numerous analytics applications that come with industry apps, acquisitions, or offer unique needed capabilities.
As a part of MicroStrategy’s Open Architecture initiative, they now provide access for third-party applications to run secure and dynamic queries against MicroStrategy as a data source. One of the best examples of this is using Tableau to connect to MicroStrategy to source data published in MicroStrategy. Using the new JSON API and RESTful APIs, some customers are building this themselves while others are using connectors built by MicroStrategy partners such as ThirdI, and BI Connector.
More Analytics Industry Changes
Analytics industry consolidation buzz that I covered previously continues this month with Qlik announcing a CEO change during the Tableau Conference and Logi Analytics sharing news of an acquisition by Marlin Equity. Since Logi Analytics is one of my clients, I did get the insider perspective from them. One of their executives shared an interesting thought with me about previous database market consolidation hype. He made the point that despite massive market share ownership by the top three database vendors, over three hundred other database vendors still continue to exist. Several newcomers, such as MongoDB and Cassandra, have even made waves rapidly climbing the database popularity rankings into the top ten spots.
I liked that database market analogy. I personally hope that the analytics market does not become an oligopoly with limited competition. An oligopoly is similar to a monopoly, except that rather than one firm, two or more firms dominate the market. Airlines and cell phone service providers are examples of oligopoly markets. For an educational, entertaining overview of oligopoly dynamics, watch Jon Oliver’s recent episode on this hot tech topic.
It sure seems like we are headed backwards while moving forwards. Last week I shared an old 2002 Gartner BI Magic Quadrant reprint on LinkedIn that was fun to revisit. Imagine swapping out a few vendors on this one with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and couple newer ones like Tellius, AnswerRocket, Clearstory, Looker, Tableau, Sisense or Yellowfin. What is old is new again…or not?
Gartner Peer Insights Winners Announced
Although I am always skeptical of “crowd sourced” reviews, here are the results from Gartner’s version of it called Peer Insights. Customer Choice Awards for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms.
- Alteryx won Gold
- Tableau won Silver
- Domo won Bronze
I did note that they actually mention vendor-incentivized reviews will not be counted for award eligibility and will not be included in the score calculation. In reality, knowing who was given discounts or perks to write up a great review might be impossible to truly filter out. If you write a fake review, you probably aren’t going to admit it.
Talend Data Preparation Cloud
Talend announced a new version of Talend Integration Cloud, the company’s highly scalable and secure integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) solution. This new release includes a cloud-based version of Talend Data Preparation.
Talend Data Preparation Cloud is a governed, on-demand, data preparation application that can be up and running in seconds. The Fall ’17 release of Talend Integration Cloud also introduces new features to enhance the customer experience such as:
- Portal-based access to all role-based applications
- A new management console with improved user interface
- A Job Execution API with new and updated operations for starting and enumerating jobs
- Cloud-based version of Talend Studio Project Management and Project Authorization using Source Control (Git) to help extend product capabilities to teams.
To learn more about Talend’s data integration solution and see demonstrations of it in action, please join me in an upcoming webinar.
Google Cloud continues to rapidly evolve. Don’t overlook them when modernizing analytics for the digital era. This group was the only leader in the recent Forrester Insight Platforms as a Service 2017. This past month I thought I saw something shared about Cloud Data Lab but maybe not. Here are a few updates that I could easily find.
- Shared GDPR enhancements for protecting personal data
- Added 21 new open-source solutions available from Google Cloud Launcher
- Introducing Grafeas: An open-source API to audit and govern metadata
Other Analytics-Related Tid Bits
I’m sure in the chaos of October that I missed a few updates. If you have news to share with me, please send it
- SAS adds AI capabilities to its robust analytics platform
- Amazon Web Services announces Gluon
- Zoomdata achieved AWS Big Data Competency Status
- Teradata announced an Analytics Platform at their conference
- Sisense released a fresh new web site and updated resources
- Kinetica added more Geospatial and Real-Time capabilities
One Non-Analytics Related Trend
This month we saw a surge of next generation productivity apps activity by cloud vendors to challenge Microsoft Office market dominance. A Google + Salesforce partnership was just announced. Salesforce customers will get Google’s GSuite fully integrated for free for one year.
Although I personally subscribe to Office 365 right now, almost all of my Silicon Valley tech vendor clients big and small use GSuite. It has been eye opening for me to see that dynamic since I was in a Microsoft-focused bubble for a very long time. Apparently, the millennial generation grew up with Google Apps aka GSuite. Apple products are popular though I rarely see iWork apps in the wild.
Could there be viable competition for Microsoft Office on the horizon? The Coda assumption that Excel is just cells is incorrect. However, I still think few people even scratch the surface of what Excel can do and/or might not really care about all the other stuff.
Cloud can equalize – only time will tell.
A little startup called Coda seems to have convinced investors. This new player raised a staggering $60 million to reinvent productivity apps. Quip is expanding. OpenOffice claims to have 225 million trusted downloads. Other players include Apple iWork for iCloud, Zoho ThinkFree, LibreOffice, Polaris or Dropbox Business. Even Amazon has hints of possibly adding cloud productivity apps with Mail, WorkDocs and Chime. Needless to say, there is never a dull moment in tech.