Ever since “Big Data” and “data analytics” started gaining momentum as corporate buzzwords, companies have sought ways to unlock massive stores of in-house data. But hiring data analysts and others with highly specialized data-mining skills can prove a frustrating task: more than one research report over the past few quarters has noted a growing shortage in workers capable of effectively wielding tools for data analysis.
Hence the rise of companies such as Datameer, which offers a platform capable of simultaneous data integration, dynamic data management, and self-service analytics; the newest version of that platform, announced June 11, features Apache Hadoop embedded in two of the three available editions.
Hadoop, a framework for reliably running applications on large hardware clusters, is prized by companies for its ability to scale from relatively few servers to thousands. Companies ranging from Facebook and eBay to Hulu and IBM all employ Hadoop as part of their respective data-crunching infrastructure. Research firm IDC recently predicted that worldwide revenues from Hadoop and MapReduce, another framework for processing problems across huge datasets, would rise to $812.8 million in 2016, fueled in large part by a flood of data from Web-based applications and social networks.
Datameer 2.0 offers users a “simple spreadsheet interface” that leverages Hadoop for crunching data (and offered along with unlimited data storage), which at least in theory puts the analytical abilities of the framework in the hands of workers who don’t necessarily have a hefty stack of graduate degrees in mathematics. Users also have the ability to choose how to visualize the data.
“Our goal is to really democratize data analytics by giving our users the tools they need to make data-driven decisions faster,” Stefan Groschupf, CEO of Datameer, wrote in a June 11 statement. “By bypassing the traditional, slow, multi-step process of creating static schemas, we enable users to get right to analyzing and visualizing data without needing to rely on IT.”
Datameer 2.0 runs on Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. New data sources for integration include Twitter, Netezza, COBOL, and Facebook.
A May note from Nucleus Research suggested that broader and accelerated adoption, along with “increasing user sophistication,” were indeed underway in the business-intelligence space. At the same time, the research firm also noted an increased ROI (return on investment) among businesses deploying data-crunching tools. Despite those cheery numbers, though, some issues associated with B.I. platform adoption remain, including whether enough workers can actually use the tools in effective ways.