AtScale bursts out of stealth to bring Hadoop to the masses

Hadoop_elephantsEnterprise employees are well acquainted with software like Microsoft Excel, but the same cannot be said for technologies like Hadoop, even though it’s considerably more powerful. But with Big Data rapidly becoming mainstream, even smaller organizations are keen to get their hands on the kinds of insights that only tools like Hadoop can deliver.

Enter AtScale, a startup that aims to make data stored within Hadoop accessible to anyone, via the most common kinds of business intelligence tools. Created by ex-Yahoo! Inc. and Klout Inc. engineer Dave Mariani, AtScale’s Intelligence Platform has been built to allow employees to carry out interactive, multidimensional analysis on Hadoop from within programs like Excel, Tableau Software or QlikView, without the need for any special skills.

Mariani told VentureBeat AtScale is targeted at smaller businesses that lack the resources of large enterprises, and are therefore looking for an affordable way to dig into their Big Data. Rather than hire expensive developers and data scientists to connect business apps to Hadoop and try to make sense of it all, AtScale plugs directly into companies’ existing business intelligence tools and takes care of everything itself.

“Today, millions of information workers could derive value from Hadoop, but their organizations have not been able to empower them to do so, either because their current toolset doesn’t work natively with Hadoop or because IT doesn’t have the tools to provision them with secure, self-service access,” Mariani told Computer World.

If this sounds like just another boring old data visualization tool, think again. While companies like Datameer Inc. have already built analytics tools for Hadoop, such programs still come with a significant learning curve – that’s not the case with AtScale, which serves as a simple connector between Hadoop and common BI tools like Tableau and Qlik.

Mariani said businesses can use AtScale to analyze the entirety of their Hadoop data in a variety of ways. For example, it offers a cube designer that transforms Hadoop data into interactive OLAP cubes that support arrays, structs and non-scalars. The end result is that hugely complex data sets can easily be converted into dimensions and measures that non-skilled personnel can manage and understand.

“We started AtScale not just to make Hadoop work for business intelligence, but to put an end to the compromises we have come to accept,” Mariani wrote in a blog post. “Why do we need to choose what data is worthy for analysis? Why do we need to structure our data for the questions we have today? At AtScale, we built the world’s only business intelligence platform that turns Hadoop’s ‘schema on read’ abilities into a truly dynamic, real-time OLAP cube.”

AtScale’s software is on sale now, and the company already boasts a number of customers including eBay Inc. and Yellow Pages LLC.