Actuate, Hortonworks Ally for Big Data Crunching

It'll still be years before B.I. data visualization looks like something from 'Minority Report.' But we can dream.

Actuate, an open-source vendor of business-intelligence tools, has plans to integrate its Actuate BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) with the Hortonworks Data Platform, which will apparently allow for more extensive visualization of Big Data.

BIRT, the open-source version of which was developed by Actuate and IBM, can be used to add business-intelligence functionality to applications. The Hortonworks Data Platform is an open-source distribution of Apache Hadoop, capable of processing data sets of potentially enormous size.

That partnership could help bulk out the ActuateOne “integrated product suite,” which relies on native-access Hive query and MapReduce functions to pull data from Hadoop. That data ends up filtered through customizable dashboards and scorecards, which workers can then use to conduct their own analysis.

In a May 15 release, executives from both companies touted how the partnership would make it easier for organizations to actually analyze and use the data stored by organizations.

Revenues for Hadoop-MapReduce ecosystem software is apparently on the rise, with research firm IDC recently predicting a rise from $77 million in 2011 to $812.8 million in 2016. A number of companies rely on Apache Hadoop for their platforms, including soon-to-IPO Facebook, eBay, Microsoft, and Twitter.

That creates a prime opportunity for companies such as Actuate and Hortonworks, although IDC also believes that competition between open-source and proprietary software vendors could force the latter to lower product-licensing fees, which in turn could depress revenues. Growth in the segment could also slow due to a lack of tools and properly trained personnel.

“The Hadoop and MapReduce market will likely develop along the lines established by the development of the Linux ecosystem,” Dan Vesset, vice president of Business Analytics Solutions for IDC, wrote in a May 7 statement accompanying those revenue figures. “Over the next decade, much of the revenue will be accrued by hardware, applications, and application development and deployment software vendors.”

The Hortonworks announcement comes on the proverbial heels of Actuate announcing an alliance with Cloudera, another vendor of Hadoop-based software and services. That partnership also seems designed to effectively apply BIRT to massive amounts of data.

For smaller vendors such as Actuate, such alliances come with a clear purpose: larger revenues for business-intelligence products translates into more tech titans such as SAP and Microsoft entering the space, raising the danger level for any smaller firm seeking its own bit of market-share.

Image: nokhoog_buchachon/Shutterstock.com

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