Trip Report: PentahoWorld 2015

October 26, 2015

By Radiant Advisors Staff

At PentahoWorld in Orlando, FL, which welcomed an audience 550 strong and assembled from over 27 countries and 185 organizations around the globe, the message rang loud and clear: the Internet of Things is changing the way we work with – and value – our data.

Business executives – which accounted for over 40% of event attendees – typically set the strategy for what companies will do with big data and analytics, as well as how their organizations use emerging tools to drive the net wave of vision and innovation. The number of active big data projects is quickly accelerating, and these projects are putting data to work and already generating business value. The concept of achieving results from big data analytics is fast becoming the norm.

“Last year [at PentahoWorld] was all about data and that hasn’t changed,” said Pentaho CEO Quentin Gallivan in the opening keynote. “The data universe is exploding. Unstructured data is doubling every three months, and 77% of business executives view unstructured data as important to organizations.”

The statistics are impressive. In fact, the World Economic Congress forecasts that 5 billion people will be connected to the Internet by 2020, and along with them, 50 billion devices. The Internet of Things (IOT) data generation is going to exceed 400 zettabytes by 2018. With all this data, devices, and people, the ROI is at the intersection of all three. That convergence is where companies build revenues faster, derive more operational efficiency, reduce costs. And the financial opportunity is significant: recent research has estimated noted that the economic value of the IOT is $6 trillion dollars. But in order to capitalize on the wealth of data, companies need to be prepared to handle this information explosion. None too soon, big data and the Cloud are “ready for primetime.”

“Big data is getting cloudy. We are seeing a convergence between big data and the cloud,” said Gallivan. “And the best uses cases include real time/streaming, embedded analytics, data blending, governance, and predictive analytics.”

Pentaho is helping customers think and work with big data and the cloud, including other technological and strategic advances for handling massive data volumes, like the data lake. While data lakes have been looked at as tactical projects, organizations are now seeing the data lake as a strategic corporate asset: It’s easy to establish within existing data management, a safe place to blend data of various types and sources, and a way to enable business units and users to easily explore and work with the data they need and then run workloads accordingly. Going forward, IT needs to take advantage of the business and analytics tools at their disposal. This is what Pentaho is focused on building with its Data Refinery: operationalizing the data lake through the blending, enriching, and refinement of diverse data into analytic data sets. With a commitment to customers to “future proof” the data foundation, Pentaho is primed to roll out innovation in the big data ecosystem, and to “harden” new technologies before they are introduced to the market, ensuring that they are ready to meet users’ needs.

Ultimately, Pentaho wants to be part of the big data fabric of the organization. Chief Product Officer Christopher Dziekan says that this year, Pentaho is “switching from strategy to execution – making it real.” It’s hard to simultaneously innovate while doing the heavy lifting of optimization, Dziekan says. The goal is to blend user self-service while giving IT the right guardrails. This extends to dynamic ETL: we need to reach into the data lake to blend and model data, and put it into the hands of more users with less IT touch points. This is the idea of frictionless governed data discovery, a concept Radiant Advisors introduced in joint research with Pentaho in 2015. Ultimately the big data lake will be the place of big blend, and Pentaho is working hard to do its part to facilitate the data flow – of new IOT data and more traditional data sources – and provide analyst-driven data delivery.

Watch keynotes and interviews with Pentaho customers and experts here:

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