Platfora, the company with a mission to bring clarity to your data, today announced series A funding worth $5.7 Million to expand their rich analytics tool for Hadoop. After the cloud euphoria, it is the turn of big data to get the mindshare of pundits and public. This space is crowded and competitive. Platfora is trying to solve a major pain point as they plot their way into adoption. Andreessen Horowitz led the round and General Partner Scott Weiss is joining the board. In-Q-Tel, the independent strategic investment firm that identifies innovative technology solutions to support the missions of the U.S. intelligence community, also participated in the funding round.
Why is Platfora interesting?
Big Data is no more a novel idea but it is reality. The tons of machine generated data coupled with user generated data is a treasure trove for any organization. However, as Alistair Croll points out in his O’Reilly blog post, having big data means nothing if we don’t ask the right set of questions.
Without the right questions, there really is no such thing as big data — and today, it’s the upstarts that are asking all the good questions
As Alistair points out in his post, United Airlines missed an opportunity because they didn’t ask the right questions even though they had tons of valuable data in their warehouse. It’s not just United, there are hundreds of organization who miss out valuable business opportunities because they are not asking the right questions to the data they hold. One solution for them is to bring in smart people to ask the right questions. Having smart people and tons of valuable data makes no sense if there are not smart tools to interact with the data. Traditional BI tools may not help that much in problems like the one Alistair is pointing out in his post. We need smarter, highly efficient, interactive tools so that business users can ask the right set of questions and get answers that add tremendous value to their business.
Making sense of Big Data involves smart people and smart tools. Platfora is addressing the “smart tools” problem by giving rich intuitive tools to business analysts who, if they are smart, can get tremendous value for their organization. Platfora is a new age Business Intelligence tool for Hadoop. In the petabyte age, Platfora eliminates the need for data warehouses, ETL tools, legacy BI applications by bringing simplicity to your big data problem. This platform works with existing Hadoop clusters like Cloudera, MapR, Amazon Elastic MapReduce, etc..
Platfora platform works as follows:
- It automatically turns natural language questions into Hadoop jobs that synthesize and distill Hadoop datasets into dimensional and predictive dashboards, reports and insights
- Then, it intelligently drives Hadoop to create and maintain ‘work products’ — highly compressed partial results that are refined at the click of a button to achieve subsecond report delivery, analytics overlay, and drilldown performance
Platfora is a result of UI/UX engineers working together with Data Scientists to build a powerful platform that is easy to use. With tools like this, organizations can mine their data to add values in ways we could not even imagine a decade back.