Artificial intelligence and Internet of Things excite, but it’s still a big data world

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In 2015, Hitachi Data Systems Corp. made a play in the big data game with the acquisition of Pentaho Corp. The merger brought together a first-class data integration and business analytics company using an open-source-based platform and added new functionality to Hitachi Data Systems to extend its presence in the market of big data, analytics, Internet of Things and machine learning.  

“The Hitachi acquisition sets us up for the next big thing, which is IoT. And I’ve been hearing non-stop about machine learning — that’s the other component that is exciting for us,” said Donna Prlich (pictured), senior vice president of product management, product marketing and solutions at Pentaho Corp.

John Furrier (@furrier), co-host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, sat down with Prlich during the BigData SV event in San Jose, CA, to talk about the value of big data. Today Prilch is being featured for our weekly Woman in Tech column. (*Disclosure below.) 

While Pentaho remains a standalone company, it now can access Hitachi’s labs where data scientists are bringing value technology from the R&D perspective. “When you apply those kinds of use cases we’re solving, it’s just like being a kid in a candy store with technology,” Prlich said.

Currently, Pentaho is in the process of advancing its machine learning orchestration capabilities to provide the enterprise ease of use when building and deploying advanced analytics models.

The company touts that the orchestration will maximize efficiency and streamline four key areas: Data and feature engineering; model training, tuning and testing; deploy and operationalize models; and update models regularly.

“It’s less about building models, [more about] enabling the data scientists and data preparers to leverage intellectual properties that companies have in those models they’ve built to transform their businesses,” Prlich commented.

It’s all about the data

Although the new technology is impressive, Prlich feels that it is still a big data world. She noted that it is the data that is monetizable, and that is why Pentaho is always focused on data in the enterprise. She maintained that the concept of AI is not new and IoT data is interesting, however, until you apply the technology to the data pipeline, there is no value.

In a recent blog post, “The Holy Grail of Analytics is the Value between Data and Insight,” Prlich discussed the monetization of bringing together analytics and data along with some governance.

Additionally, the value proposition for businesses is to have the ability to access the data and the insight with controls to derive some value. “The reason it is important is because you are bringing together the data and the analytics. You can’t separate those two things … that when you start separating [the data], it makes it hard to get any value,” Prlich said.

Pursuing a way to close the gap between the process and the people new tools need to emerge for preparing data, the orchestration of machine learning will help automate the process, according to Prlich. She is also worried about who is minding the data. Pentaho is trying to solve that with a complete end-to-end solution built on a flexible platform based on open-source technology that orchestrates the data and analytics.

One advantage Pentaho has is its Hitachi connection, which is approximately a $90-billion conglomerate. The company’s reach encompasses the information and telecommunication systems, social infrastructure, high functional materials and components, financial services, power systems, electronic systems and equipment, automotive systems, railway and urban systems, digital media and consumer products, and construction machinery industries. 

“You have the OT [operational technology] of the world, right under their belt. [It’s important] how we leverage it is from a software perspective and data that we bring to the table and the expertise,” Prlich said. “It’s a huge opportunity via the Hitachi channel to be part of the bigger IoT strategy.”

All indications point to Pentaho having a good seat at the machine learning and IoT table. The merger with Hitachi offers a powerful place in the market for both companies, Prlich concluded.  

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of BigData SV 2017. (*Disclosure: Some segments on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE are sponsored. Sponsors have no editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE