SOURCE: Platfora


October 23, 2013 07:00 ET

Platfora Unveils Big Data Analytics Platform to Empower the Fact-Based Enterprise

First to Unify Events, Actions, and Results Into "Event Analytics" for Business Users Including Disney, The Washington Post, Shopify, and MdotM

SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 23, 2013) - Today Platfora announced the next generation of its Big Data Analytics platform designed to empower the fact-based enterprise. The Platfora Big Data Analytics Platform 3.0 delivers an easy to use way of analyzing big data collected from multiple touchpoints and surfacing insights and facts in hours rather than months. This new platform also enables users to combine aggregate and event based data enabling new kinds of Big Data Analytics previously relegated to the realm of data scientists and engineering teams.

"Big Data is creating two kinds of businesses, those that run on facts, and those that run on fiction, feelings, and faith," said Ben Werther, CEO of Platfora. "Executives have lost confidence in the "BS" produced by hard to use business intelligence tools that only work with summarized and aggregate data. Platfora Big Data Analytics arms IT to empower every business user to interrogate all the data until it surrenders the facts."

What's New in Platfora 3.0 Big Data Analytics Platform:

  • Platfora Event Stream Analytics: Business users can now analyze the behavior of their customers, products, etc. ("entities") across all of the digital touchpoints they record in their business, such as web clicks, mobile application access, call center records, and product sales -- without waiting months or years for IT to find the answer.
  • Platfora Iterative Segmentation: Create segments of customers by the behaviors they have exhibited across touchpoints (i.e. the pattern of web visits and tweets that occurred before a purchase), demographic data, etc. Then, share, track, and iterate on the segments until insights are found.
  • Platfora Entity-Centric Data Catalog: Data is organized around an entity (i.e. customers, products, etc.) and provides easy access for business users to find relevant analysis, segments, and data.

Fact-Based Enterprises Outperform Rivals

Fact-Based Enterprises are the early innovators who exploit big data for maximum advantage. According to a study of 179 large, publicly traded companies, fact-based enterprises outperform their rivals. MIT Sloan School of Management found that data-driven companies are 5 percent to 6 percent more productive and profitable than their competitors. They found that some technology companies were almost twice as profitable.

The rising demand to transform big data into facts is driving a huge shift in spending, away from business intelligence tools, expensive data scientists and capital expenditure toward investing in Big Data Analytics and Hadoop. Big Data Analytics is a new generation of analytics that enables IT to empower business users to instantly interact with enormous amounts of data in an easy to use, iterative manner. According to Gartner, a September 2013 survey reveals that 64 percent of organizations are investing or planning to invest in big data technology.

Proof of this shift is evident among Platfora's growing customer base. In just seven months since GA, Platfora has assembled a powerhouse of high-profile customers including Disney, The Washington Post, Shopify and ad network MdotM -- all are capitalizing on big data to achieve results that competitors can only dream about -- true Fact-Based Enterprises.

Big Data Analytics Powering New Platfora Customers

"At Disney-ABC Television, we believe that Big Data Analytics gives us the facts to continually improve the user experience and product for our viewers," said Khai Tran, Senior Manager, Digital Media, Disney ABC. "The media landscape has evolved dramatically with the convergence of streaming video, mobile consumption, and over-the-top technologies. Our goal is to obtain deep customer insights that enable us to be in lock step with where our consumers are going. Unlike other traditional BI tools, Platfora makes it possible for key decision makers to tap directly into the power of Hadoop, enabling us to know more and make fact-based decisions that result in better customer experiences and increased business effectiveness."

"At Shopify, understanding and improving the online merchant experience is central to what we do," said Tobi Lutke, CEO, Shopify. "Platfora Big Data Analytics allows us to visually analyze the huge amount of data we have in Hadoop effortlessly and beautifully. We are excited to be a design partner on Platfora's next generation of event analysis and segmentation capabilities."

"MdotM is the world's largest demand side advertising platform. It is critical that we understand all the facts about our publishers and advertisers in order to continually improve our products, services, and competitive advantage. Unfortunately, in the past, we were limited to analyzing data across limited dimensions due to constraints of legacy BI tools," said Sourabh Niyogi, CEO, MdotM. "Now, thanks to Platfora Big Data Analytics, we have automated the entire Hadoop data pipeline and our analysts can now slice and dice against all our enterprise data. Platfora literally masks the complexity of Hadoop and gives us unprecedented access to facts that we need to drive customer value and retention."

"Many companies are still using traditional business intelligence environments on top of data warehouses and ETL tools," said John L. Myers, Senior Analyst for Business Intelligence at Enterprise Management Associates -- a Boulder, Colorado based analyst firm. "They have difficulty viewing, analyzing, and most especially, correlating all of the data they have at their disposal. In these traditional environments it can take up to 18 months before basic answers from aggregate data can be achieved. This leads to those gut decisions based on limited access rather than the full scope of detailed data available today."

Platfora Big Data Analytics Platform 3.0 for Hadoop

Platfora Big Data Analytics Platform 3.0 empowers IT and business users to easily iterate on difficult questions, understand the behavior of customers and products over time and make decisions using the full scope of facts in the enterprise. The Platfora Big Data Analytics Platform provides a set of breakthrough new capabilities to unlock the power of Hadoop including;

1) Analyze Facts with Event-Driven Analysis

Fact-based enterprises interrogate data across many dimensions, including time, to gain a complete understanding of everything that happens across every digital touchpoint. To date, business users used BI and data discovery tools to analyze small pockets of aggregate data such as number of customers, conversion rates, etc. Correlating this aggregate data with event-based data such as web logs, mobile application logs, call center records, and social networks was impossible, or at best cases, limited to special data scientist projects.

Platfora Event Stream Analytics is the first to empower business users to analyze the full scope of all events, behaviors, actions, and results over a single timeline. This industry first capability empowers business users to interactively interrogate big data in Hadoop to enable users to rise above the weeds and see how all the facts connect.

2) Ask Unlimited Questions with an Entity-Centric Data Catalog and Dynamic Data Lenses

One of the most important enablers for the fact-based enterprise is interrogating Big Data quickly and freely with all the data at your disposal. In the past, dynamic and iterative questions were nearly impossible. With every question, IT had to build new SQL queries, change data models, and create new reports. This led to decisions being made with summarized data and fiction, feelings, and faith. And it would create 18+ month backlogs to get data for even simple questions.

Platfora Entity-Centric Data Catalog Automatically organizes all raw data stored in Hadoop into a structure that the business user can understand. All the data is centered around the important entities of the business, such as customers or products, providing an easy way to organize related analysis, events, and segments into one place.

Platfora Dynamic Lenses give business users access to all the raw data stored in Hadoop, not just the parts that IT previously deemed important. Lenses automatically organize big data into a structure that is optimized for analysis, a process that normally requires IT to build or modify a data warehouse. Dynamic lenses make big data fast and interactive and are now optimized for Event Series or aggregate processing.

3) Generate Big Data Outcomes with Iterative Segmentation

Big Data Analysis is an ongoing and dynamic process that requires users to easily segment users, visitors, or products based on the patterns of behaviors or specific outcomes. Event stream data commonly lacks personally identifiable information and segmentation is a fundamental capability to pull facts out of anonymity. In the past, this required heavy engineering work and expertise to identify a particular segment of interest.

Platfora Iterative Segmentation lets IT and business users identify and create groups based on any combination of behavior, demographics, or attributes across all of their diverse data sets. This capability creates powerful insights into how events, patterns, and behaviors combine to generate outcomes and facts for that segment.

Platfora Big Data Analytics Platform 3.0 will be available in Q1 2014. In addition to the new offers, Platfora also released enhancements to the following big data analysis capabilities including:

  • Self Service Visualizations: Business executives can take action with visually addictive Platfora Vizboards, new enhancements including drag & drop, out of the box funnel charts and graphs, and custom visualizations.

  • Collaboration and Sharing: Work groups can share insights, avoid rework, and make data more credible and actionable with enhanced capabilities for data lineage, comments, workflow integration, and publishing.

  • Security: Users can share insights more freely and confidently with enhanced security features that extend far beyond Hadoop security, such as object-level rules, role based access, group membership, and integration with LDAP and Active Directory services.

  • Data Acceleration: Improved sub-second interactivity, with access to all data details, across petabytes of data in your big data reservoir.

  • Ecosystem Integration: Open interoperability with the Big Data and Hadoop Ecosystem including out-of-the-box support for Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR, Amazon EMR and Pivotal.

Platfora at Strata Hadoop 2013
Platfora is a Strategic Sponsor at the Strata Conference + Hadoop World, which takes place October 28-30 in New York City. Customers and prospects can visit Platfora's booth #307. To attend, please register here:

* Gartner Press Release, September 23, 2013.

Additional Resources

About Platfora
Platfora's mission is to empower customers to transform their businesses into fact-based enterprises. Platfora's Big Data Analytics Platform masks the complexity of Hadoop, making it easy for customers to understand all the facts in their business across events, actions, behaviors and time. Platfora is funded by Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and In-Q-Tel. For more details, visit or follow @platfora and #FactBased on Twitter.

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