PentahoWorld 2014: Bringing Data to Life

Trip report

This October marked the inauguration of PentahoWorld – the first annual, worldwide conference for Pentaho users, advocates, and partners. Themed around “Bringing Your Data to Life” – to unleash potential, unlock insight, and deliver value – the event welcomed 400 registrants from nearly 30 countries. Opening keynotes were a strong reflection of the theme, with Mike Olson from Cloudera, Mike Gualtieri from Forrester Research, and customers David Selinger from RichRelevance, as well as Michael Weiss and John Dinh from NASDAQ all taking the stage.

“In the future of analytics,” said Quentin Gallivan, Pentaho Chairman and CEO, “the game has changed.” While business intelligence has added amazing value to organizations over the past twenty years by making them smarter, faster, more competitive and more productive, the BI status quo largely focuses on “looking back from the future” to figure out what has happened in the past.

Working with over 1,500 customers Gallivan identified three major impetuses that are expanding the role of big data in IT. First, the universe of data is exploding: big data for the enterprise is here and now. People, data and things are getting connected. The digital universe is doubling every year; unstructured data is doubling every three months. It’s a daunting data revolution that estimates that very soon 70% of the digital universe will be created by information consumers. By 2025, 40% of the digital universe will be generated by machine data.

Next, comes the evolution of next-generation data architectures that incorporate new big data technologies, yet complement existing investments. They support new data sources (Hadoop, NoSQL, etc.) and enable data blending and embedding of analytics into the fabric of organizations. The most compelling insights come from blending data, big data, relational data, and social media content.

The third trend is that users expect to consume data in new ways, making data-driven apps a wave of the future. Enterprise IT is fast becoming a true partner with business to monetize big data. This is the consumerization of IT: the enterprise must adapt to changing behaviors and expectations as users want the same kind of experience with data in the office as at home. While this continues to drive value for classic BI, new value will be realized by business users consuming analytics embedded into applications that are self-service and designed for all – from the data scientist, to the analyst, to the business user.

Enterprises must adopt technologies that make analytics “invisible” to produce insights and inferences quickly and without a change in workflow. “Companies make big bets on big data,” said Gallivan, “and the IT-Business partnership in the data-driven future requires a Big Data Orchestration Platform that powers data-driven applications.” This platform enables end-to-end self-service delivery of analytics and will be instrumental in delivering Pentaho’s vision of the future. The ability to blend trusted and timely data to power analytics at scale for all users – or, “governed data delivery” – is central to Pentaho’s strategy.

PentahoWorld 2014 also marked the release of Pentaho 5.2. Key features in Pentaho 5.2 include an automated Streamlined Data Refinery to offer the power of governed data-delivery to power analytics for the business user. In addition, Pentaho advances data security offering support for Kerberos for major Hadoop distributions.

“The sands of big data are shifting,” said Pentaho Chief Product Officer, Christopher Dziekan in his keynote, “and Pentaho’s product roadmap will continue to focus on extensibility, adaptability, and the enterprise.” Pentaho will continue to balance innovation with a mature platform: Next up and coming soon is big data integration at scale – simpler to deploy, manage, and debug – to take the entire Pentaho experience “up a notch” through installation, configuration, and lifecycle management from development, to test, to production, monitoring, lineage – all core capabilities of an enterprise platform. The Pentaho product roadmap includes releases slated for Pentaho 5.3 in Q1 2015, 5.4 in Q3 2015, and the new Pentaho 6.0 coming in October 2015.

For more on Pentaho 5.2 and governed data delivery, visit  

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