Platfora Ties Hadoop Analytics to Tableau Data Visualization Tools

Mike Vizard
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Moving to make Big Data analytics more accessible to the average business user, Platfora today at the Strata + Hadoop conference announced that it is integrating its Big Data discovery software running on Hadoop with data visualization software from Tableau Software.

Peter Schlampp, vice president of products for Platfora, says version 5.2 of the company’s namesake platform seeks to democratize access to Big Data. For the most part, access to that data has been confined to a small group of data scientists. In the meantime, Schlampp says business users have voted with their feet in favor of data visualization tools from Tableau that allow them to interrogate data on their own terms.

Platfora itself is an analytics application that runs natively on top of Hadoop and the Apache Spark in-memory computing framework. Once data is processed in Platfora, it can be made accessible to any client application that supports SQL. In the case of Tableau, Platfora has built a dedicated connector that generates files compatible with the Tableau format. Developers can also make use of a software development kit to embed that functionality inside a third-party application.

In addition, Platfora revealed today that its software no longer needs to run on its own dedicated hardware. Via support for the YARN resource manager on Hadoop, Platfora can now run on a Hadoop cluster like any other application.


Schlampp says many Big Data projects are flailing because they fail to get actionable data into the hands of end users. Via Platfora, most of the challenges associated with accomplishing that goal get abstracted away using a SQL-compatible application that most existing business intelligence applications can easily invoke, says Schlampp.

Obviously, IT organizations are experiencing Big Data challenges that go well beyond visualization. But if those same organizations expect the business to continue funding those projects, they need to start delivering something that resembles a more immediate return on those investments.

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