What you missed in Big Data: Redefining business intelligence


Business intelligence returned to the center of attention in the analytics universe last week after Sisense Inc. received $50 million in funding from a group of investors led by private equity heavyweight Bessemer Venture Partners. The capital will be spent on widening the adoption of its namesake analytics platform, which is already finding use among more than 1,000 organizations worldwide.

Sisense draws much of its appeal from the data management engine under the hood, which only moves files into memory when they’re specifically needed and redirects the highest priority information to the processor cache for faster analysis. The startup claims that the approach enables its software to make much more efficient use of hardware than alternatives and thereby improve processing times. During a live demonstration two years ago, the software was able to blaze through a 10 terabyte workload in under 10 seconds on a low-cost commodity server.

While potentially helpful in every aspect of analytics, that kind of speed can be particularly useful for processing streaming information like the real-time transmissions coming off the growing number of connected devices entering corporate network. But business intelligence solutions like Sisense’s only address a small subset of the use cases in which that data is being applied, creating a gap that Greenwave Systems Inc. has set out to fill with the help of the $60 million it raised in its own funding round last week.

The Irvine-based startup develops a cloud-based platform capable of tapping into all the new end-points that are flooding into the modern enterprise and make the data they generate centrally available to developers through a straightforward programming interface. The goal is to simplify the creation of analytic applications, an objective Greenwave shares with Microsoft Corp., which is in turn tackling the mathematical aspect of the challenge.

The company last week launched four new editions of the statistical programming technology it gained through the purchase of Revolution Analytics Inc. eight months ago. One is designed to work with information stored in Teradata Database deployments, while another can run on Hadoop to execute algorithms at petabyte-scale. All of the versions are available for download immediately through the Microsoft Developer Network.

Image via Geralt