James Mulholland is an Interaction Designer at Platfora. James holds a Masters in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) from Carnegie Mellon University. James' areas of interest include human perception, communication, and data visualization.
The scale of data is shifting dramatically. Since Twitter launched in 2006, over 170 billion tweets have been sent. Businesses need new ways to store, process, and analyze clickstream logs, social media, gaming records, and sensor-generated data that is constantly streaming in. They are turning to Hadoop as the management framework to store “big data” since it offers an inexpensive and massively scalable solution. Although businesses have been able to get data easily into Hadoop, getting the data back out in a way that is simple and useful is another story. The promise of big data is the ability for businesses to make smarter decisions and use data as a competitive advantage, but for some, Hadoop has become a digital data dumping ground.
Business analysts need to be empowered with self-service fast access to all of this data in Hadoop with an intuitive user interface. Although business intelligence visualization has existed before, only Platfora provides a closed-loop self-service capability for iterative data exploration. Other solutions are tailored to specific schemas and predetermined sets of data. If an analyst wants to dive deeper or look at other aspects of the data, it requires a complex IT process that can take months to build. This existing approach limits business analysts whereas Platfora allows them to enrich the data based on new insights and iteratively expand their ability to make data-driven decisions.