Connecting data sources : Focus on the business outcome | #BigDataSV


jim-hare-bigdatasv-2014John Furrier and Jeff Frick, theCUBE co-hosts, broadcasted live from Day Three of #BigDataSV in Santa Clara, California, catching up with the thought leaders in the industry and the “tech athletes”, debating the news from Strata and trends and speculating on the future.

Everybody seems to agree that this year’s Strata conference, an event that used to appeal more to the geeks, for the first time focuses on the business outcome and value, showing a clear transformation of the market.

Jim Hare, Product Marketing with Actian, joined Furrier and Frick in theCUBE to talk about Actian Analytics Platform and Big Data no longer being just Hadoop.

Hare started out exposing a bit of the Actian background: “The roots of Actian are really in the operational database; it was a private equity firm that saw value in the untapped, unvalued resources and assets and it has built a company on that foundation.”

“Most recently they’ve acquired companies like Pervasive and ParAccel and I was brought in to look at these assets and figure out how they can be combined in interesting ways to unlock that value,” Hare said. “With Actian Analytics Platform we looked at all these capabilities and combined them to really get that value. Today it’s one company, one voice, one message, one platform.”

“The Hadoop movement put a face on unstructured data,” noted Furrier. “You’re starting to see the maturation of that space, so Big Data doesn’t equal Hadoop anymore. From your perspective, explain the role of Hadoop and other platforms.”

“A lot of people are already dealing with a lot of data with traditional sources – they have data warehouses and databases, and with the flurry of new data coming from various sources, there was no easy way to manage not only the new data types, but also the volume of data,” Hare answered. “Hence, people were looking for new technologies to handle that kind of different types of data. Hadoop was explored and evaluated as an interested way of not only handling that data, but also becoming a low-cost storage mechanism. That’s why people started associating Big Data with Hadoop. But the reality is that Hadoop is great for handling things, data science, data discovery, etc.”

Nowadays people want to take some of this data and combine it with their on-premise data. How do you do that? There’s a collection of different platforms involved:


  • Hadoop – handles certain types of data
  • Data warehouse
  • Analytics platform – sophisticated, low latency, cost-effective


“With Actian Analytics Platform we created the ability to interoperate, cooperate, complement and connect all these types of platforms.”



“One of our biggest customers is Evernote, one of the leaders in providing online capabilities for people to store notes and videos,” noted Hare. “A lot of the information behind the scenes is stored with Hadoop. They saw the value in having Hadoop and an analytics platform.”

“How do you look at the SQL on Hadoop trend? asked Furrier.

“People want to use the existing skills and knowledge that they have,” Hare said. “People know SQL from their previous experience. That’s why they use SQL to tap into Hadoop.”

“What’s the profile of the developer using Actian?” asked theCUBE hosts.

“Someone coming from an architectural background,” Hare responded. “The developer comes into play when you have the technology and it’s time to start building the applications. In the case of an analytics platform, a lot of the data scientists coming to the market right now don’t know SQL. They know all these new technologies, predictive analytics, but people are forgetting the roots of how you access this other information that’s already on-premise and of value through SQL.”

“What people don’t know about Actian that they should?” inquired Furrier.

“Amazon’s RedShift runs on our platform, just like MicroStrategy’s cloud,” said Hare. “When people want the fastest, lowest-latency platform, they come to Actian.”