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Platfora Exits Beta, Tames Hadoop

Platfora accelerates the process of accessing Big Data

After two years in development and six months in private beta, Platfora, the native in-memory Business Intelligence (BI) platform for Hadoop, has gone on sale.

The widgetry is meant to put business users directly in touch with Big Data and eliminate the need for complex and expensive data warehouses and ETL software. Insights can be derived by non-technical business folk in hours instead of weeks or months.

"The promise of Hadoop and Big Data is enormous - that companies can flow diverse data from across the enterprise into a ‘data reservoir' and have business users directly and immediately derive value from it. That promise has remained elusive," said Platfora CEO Ben Werther. "Our customers have seen their worlds open up to new possibilities of data analysis with our product. Platfora puts every business user directly in touch with all of this data in a visually rich and immediate way that lets them make better decisions today."

Platfora accelerates the process of accessing Big Data. Prior schemes limited business users to small windows of data and involved waiting minutes or hours for queries to respond. The company says IT staff had to scramble to respond to requests for more data and hiring more experts has been difficult for the business.

Customers now report that their business users have access to all the data collected in Hadoop, and queries are consistently fast - enabling them to explore and find insights "at the speed of thought."

The combination of Platfora and Hadoop has made them more agile, significantly lowering the time required to add new datasets or ask different questions from months to hours.

Platfora's showcase user is, the automotive research site where millions of people go each month to check out cars. As its data volume and variety grew, Edmunds used Hadoop to store data more economically, and combine data with more agility. With Platfora, the number of employees that can leverage this data grew from five to 50, and as new attributes arrived in the data they were able to put them to use in hours as opposed to months.

"Platfora's data solutions make it easier for us to deliver insights without having to tie up resources from our IT support staff. generates an enormous amount of data, and Platfora has given our business users the agility to explore that data in ways that were not possible before," Edmunds VP of enterprise software and data architecture Padraic Hannon said.

Platfora has partnered with all the major Apache Hadoop distributions including Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR and EMC/Greenplum.

It says it will continue to invest in supporting the latest technology in the Hadoop ecosystem, including the emerging category of faster SQL-style interfaces to Hadoop. Its Hadoop partners will benefit from the increased storage and utilization of their software since business analysts can now make use of the otherwise tetchy widgetry.

Platfora is server software that runs on-premise or in the cloud on standard general-purpose hardware. Subscriptions are calculated on a per-server/per-year basis.

Platfora is funded by Andreessen Horowitz and the CIA's venture arm In-Q-Tel, among others.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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