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Pentaho picks up Webdetails to bring richer visualizations to analytics products

Business-intelligence provider Pentaho has acquired Webdetails, a design-focused consultant that has previously done work for Pentaho. The deal will help Pentaho offer richer visualization tools. Powerful visualization tools are becoming more important as businesses become more data-driven and more employees need access to tools that help them work with and get actionable insights from data.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Portugal-based Webdetails’ 20 or so employees have impressive skills as visual artists and have a sense of how data scientists want to explore data, said CEO Quentin Gallivan said in an interview on Friday. They also have the know-how to produce compelling embedded analytics tools for Pentaho customers. Many customers want embedded analytics to be customized with special user-interface details and custom skins, Gallivan said, “so it looks exactly like their application. It can’t look like a (business-intelligence) tool.”

The Webdetails staff has previously made Pentaho plug-ins such as tools for creating dashboards. The Webdetails employees will also contribute visualization input to the summer and fall releases of Pentaho’s Instaview feature for analyzing data sets from Hadoop, MongoDB and other sources, Gallivan said.

The data-analytics market has been busy as of late. QlikView (s qlik) hit Nasdaq in 2010, and earlier this month Tableau Software filed to go public, too. Meanwhile, legacy players such as Microstrategy and SAP have stuck around in the business-intelligence space. To keep adding customers in such a lively area, other players need to bolster their own offerings and help further democratize data. That’s what seems to be happening with this deal.