2 Comments

Summary:

For anyone concerned about the difficulty of doing advanced analytics tasks with Hadoop, the future might be just around the corner. A stealth-mode Palo Alto, Calif.–based startup called Platfora is working to make Hadoop usable even for the non-data scientists among us.

Ben Werther, Todd Papaioannou, Dwight Merriman, Mike Hoskins and Awadallah talk enterprise Hadoop at Structure: Data 2011

Werther (far left) at our Structure Big Data conference

For anyone concerned about the difficulty of doing advanced analytics tasks with Hadoop, the answer might be just around the corner. A stealth-mode Palo Alto, Calif.–based startup called Platfora is working to make Hadoop usable even for the non-data scientists among us.

According to the details available on its website, Platfora is working on software that will let users do new kinds of processing with Hadoop via an “intuitive and beautiful user experience.” It will provide “data science for mortals — questions and exploration rather than walls of math.” All of this sounds great, but it will be awhile until we see what Platfora has up its sleeve: Founder and CEO Ben Werther told me the company isn’t releasing details right now but should have more to say in the three-to-six-month time frame.

Werther was formerly the VP of products at DataStax, a startup software and services company dedicated to the Cassandra NoSQL database. At our Structure Big Data conference in March, DataStax launched its own Hadoop distribution that seeks to provide a more real-time analytics experience for web applications by replacing the Hadoop Distributed File System with Cassandra.

As for Platfora’s mission, burying the complexity of Hadoop underneath layers of abstraction is nothing new. Datameer, Hadapt, IBM and others all have their own unique approaches for letting users take advantage of Hadoop processing without having to worry about the steep learning curves around MapReduce and cluster management. They’re all fine approaches, but in such a new space, there’s plenty of room for innovation, which has me very interested to see what Platfora is up to.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. Hilarious and kind of sad that on their home page Platfora has stolen Chad Hagen’s work of art “Nonsensical Infographic #2” as their supposed “intuitive and beautiful user experience.” Hagen’s artwork–does Platfora know it’s a work of art they’ve improperly pasted onto their site?–is a criticism of data visualization.

  2. Dan — that was a touch of humor on our parts when we assembled this site. I’m very much a fan of Hagen’s work, and no disrespect was intended. We’re going to be in stealth for a little while yet, and since we can’t show our own work until then, there was something about this beautiful yet meaningless diagram that appealed in the interim. That being said, with the attention our modest little site has been getting, we’ll be swapping in a stock licensed image shortly.

Comments have been disabled for this post