Pentaho have been very active of late and the things that it is working on are far from being trivial things of only peripheral interest. Firstly we have had their announcements about the Pentaho Labs. The technology world is forever throwing up new things and new versions of old things, but actually working what to use and when is a big issue. The days of just throwing money at a technology department and not looking for a monetary return are now long gone and people are looking for far more than just guidance as to whether this product is better than that product; what they want is practical help on how to turn technology on to deliver the sorts of business benefits the marketing people promise.
Increasingly people are looking to people like Pentaho to support them and get through the proof of concept phase. Pentaho are looking to provide that practical support and to continue to develop things at the leading edge in the Pentaho Labs, incubating new ideas and driving innovation, seeding new approaches that will feed into their product road maps, so this is all a continuum of activity that is based on a pragmatic understanding of what business needs. You can see the fruits of this joined up thinking with the introduction of an adaptive big data layer, making it possible to link up the various versions of software being used in the emerging versions of Hadoop, nonSQL databases, and big data stores.
In the big data world one of the biggest sources of data comes from machines. Splunk are leaders in this field and now Pentaho are working with them to make that data even more accessible. This is important because machine generated data is central to many of the key industries at the core of the digital economy, so that includes ISPs, eCommerce vendors, financial services, telecommunications and energy. By adding capability from Pentaho, Splunk becomes easier to exploit and easier to integrate with relational data, so that Splunk, which today is going to be largely seen as essential in the operational side of the business, can now become a vital source of insight to the business support side of the house, opening up clickstream and social media data to sales and marketing and not just technical support.
Splunk and Pentaho are both really pushing the boundaries of enhancing the usability of big data, a concept that has excited those of us in the technical community far more than it has many in the business community, and I think this is going to start to get more people to realise real business value from the capability.