From a historic perspective, the veteran business data analysis solutions (BI) are designed to provide managers with basic analysis, supported by a visual interface of developments at companies' business and operating departments. In the past decade, this approach has undergone rapid changes at the levels of infrastructure, end solution, type of users, and data analyzed. Big Data adds a set of technologies for handling quantities of data which older information infrastructures could not handle, as well as a range of mechanisms for "translating" the data for use.
In fact, at companies in the field, it is possible to find an ideological approach to the question of where enterprise data should be headed. The main thing for companies which focus on BI reporting tools is the appeal to the user. As far as they are concerned, everything that happens behind the scenes is not relevant, and will have no great future in the near term.
Big Data companies counter that advanced infrastructures are needed more than ever to quickly access types of relevant data (such as content from social networks), without which reporting is ineffective.
No need to run
As for Wall Street, the bottom line of the debate for investors is clear to analysts who cover data management companies -- there is no need to run. JPMorgan says that all the companies mentioned here will ultimately benefit from the expansion of big data technologies.
Barclays Capital wonders about the future of Informatica and Teradata as new infrastructure solutions mature. It concludes on a calming note, saying that Informatica is finding its place in the Big Data world, and reiterates its "Overweight" recommendation.
Does this mean that no revolution is expected? Tableau's interface for displaying data from enterprise computer systems is considered one of the solutions that is changing the market. Credit Suisse, which gives the company a "Neutral" recommendation, believes that Tableau is well positioned to disrupt and redefine the existing BI market. In other words, the company can take market share away from current solutions of companies such as SAP AG (NYSE; DAX: SAP), Oracle Corporation (Nasdaq: ORCL), IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM), and even relatively new Qlik Technologies.
In a new study, JPMorgan says that most innovation in the field comes from the private sector. This means that start-ups, sometimes still deep in the garage, can affect computing budgets that flow to veteran companies. For example, companies such as Cloudera Inc., Hortonworks Inc., MapR Inc. and even Israel'sSiSense Ltd.
Qlik Technologies, which provides popular BI software, is trying to sort out the differences between what is seen in the field and what computer people sense. "There is confusion on this point," admits Joel Sela, the co-CEO of QlikView Israel Ltd., a Qlik Technologies distributor. "It is difficult for customers to understand these things thoroughly. Customers don't really understand what Big Data is, but some of the bigger customers stop and try to understand."
Qlik Technologies' approach is that the infrastructures that gather data do not really matter, and the company's ideology is to provide the "last mile"; in other words, the tools to try and provide optimal analysis capabilities to the end-user. As Sela says, "If you don't understand the story, it doesn't matter how much data you get."
(c)2013 the Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel)
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