After the big bang commercialization of big data tools, the next big solution to the data puzzle that has hit headlines has been the use of big data visualization tools. Most organizations by now are convinced about the need and cost benefits of having a big data solution in place. Statistics reveal that the cost for a Big Data Analytics solution is pennies on the dollar as compared to a traditional data warehousing solution.
One problem that needs attention is how to make it easier to analyze and comprehend the huge volumes of data that could come structured or unstructured from disparate sources ranging from Twitter feeds, emails, traditional databases, mobile applications etc. A study conducted by Ventana Research found 48% of the surveyed organizations indicating data visualization and discovery as the critical pain points when it comes to business analytics features provided by big data vendors.
Most vendors are still building capabilities for this next wave of innovation in the big data world. Given that time to market is the key here, acquisitions seem to be the way ahead for the leading players in the game. The more recent and news making acquisitions have been that of Twitter acquiring big data visualization firm Lucky Sort, noted for its popular visualization engine Topic Watch. This engine uses Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) to discover patterns from live data streams. Another news maker is Datawatch that has acquired Panopticon Software for an astounding $31.4 mn.
When it comes to big data visualization, creativity and innovation are the essential requirements. Equally important is the presentation of the data which has to be in a way that can be easily consumed by other integrated applications. Following are some indigenous examples of how different vendors have attempted in bringing about the visualization aspect into their products.
- Ayasdi represents complex data sets in the form of a network graph.
- BeyondCORE intelligently highlights significant co-relations in data even before the user can query for them. What is unique to this solution is its ability to talk a user through the resultant charts and graphs.
- Platfora takes another approach where they use an HTML5 based Tableau that allows for dragging, dropping, slicing and dicing the enormous number of hidden data points.
- Zoomdata’s USP is that it also supports mobile devices and has an innovative presentation that appears like an artist’s palette.
Whatever be the presentation technique used, the verdict is loud and clear—that big data visualization is here to stay and is the key behind running a successful business analytics program.