Kognitio Brings Big Data Experience to Business Analytics

Kognitio has been serving the analytics and data needs of organizations for more than 20 years with an in-memory analytics platform that meets many of the big-data needs of today’s organizations. Kognitio Analytical Platform provides a unique massively parallel processing (MPP) in-memory database that can rapidly load data and calculate analytics; it is available both in an analytical software appliance and via cloud computing.

Its software can be installed on commodity x86 servers or used in the cloud on Amazon Web Services. The technology is fast to load with the company’s own tools or through data integration tools such as Informatica’s. Kognitio’s in-memory platform can take data from a disparate set of sources and process the data using analytics that can operate simultaneously across processors. As we noted last year Kognitio expanded to support MDX analytic query expressions, which through its Microsoft Excel interface can help conduct specific types of analytics faster than just using SQL. The challenge is that the use of MDX has not grown significantly among business analysts, nor has it been widely supported with other BI and analytics products. Kognitio has worked to reduce administrative complexity of its product; the appliance does not require a DBA to manage indexes or partitions.

In light of the significant growth in the use of Hadoop to process large volumes of data, Kognitio has formed a partnership with Hortonworks to integrate its technology with Hadoop through an accelerator.  I assessed Hortonworks Hadoop Summit and how the use of Hadoop can accelerate the processing of analytics and data. Use of Hadoop is growing fast in big-data technology ecosystems;  almost one-third of organizations now plan to use it, according to our big-data benchmark research. Kognitio has expanded its partnerships to reach analysts; for instance, it established a partnership with Alteryx, which provides a unique workflow and process-centric approach to analytics that I analyzed. It also announced a partnership and integration with Advanced Visual Systems for visualizing large volumes of data like consumer behavior and social media. These types of partnerships are critical for Kognitio, and it needs to explain their value better to prospective buyers and also promote them, which have yet to appear in the partner listing on its website.

Kognitio has struggled to grow as much as its unique technology probably deserved over the last ten years. Last year the U.K.-based company brought in new management to help guide its growth, especially in the United States. It also established new pricing for its technology based on the amount of memory used for processing the data. My analysis is that management needs to more directly publicize the performance and scalability of its approach compared to others to ensure it remains relevant in the conversation on big data and business analytics. Increasing its visibility will also help it reach the professionals who evaluate big-data technology, who according to our research are mostly in the IT organization.

Kognitio has some cost/benefit and computing efficiency advantages that should be very important to IT. While organizations usually know that analytics provide benefits, they also are looking for efficiency, streamlining their information architecture and providing operational support for business analysts, who are looking to be freed from manual work with preparing data and more automation so they can focus on analysis. If you are examining methods to increase the response time for analytics using big data and decrease the costs to do so, you should look at Kognitio.


Mark Smith – CEO & Chief Research Officer

Roambi Provides Digital Platform for Mobile Business

The demand for business information on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets continues to increase, while the technology to support it has not. In our benchmark research on information applications, only 11 percent of organizations said they are very satisfied with their ability to provide such information, and their top two complaints with existing technologies are that they are too slow and not adaptable or flexible. The unique aspects of mobile technology, from the small screen size to the use of gestures for interaction, make for a complex technological problem.

Roambi is a technology vendor active in this space, having been preparing and presenting rich information on Apple iPhone and iPad devices for several years, as I have written. Our firm recognized one of Roambi customers, Life Technologies, for business mobility in our 2011 Leadership Awards. It provides digital mobile access to rich information applications through Roambi Flow, which enables users to assemble information into a presentation, publication, application or whatever grouping they need to share with others. Roambi Flow can embed content, from text to images, to tell a story in a presentation or briefing book, or to create digital publications on a routine basis. Now, as the demand for delivering digital publications expands to marketing collateral, annual reports, market research and other documents, organizations need to further customize content for an unlimited number of people. To meet this need, Roambi has released Roambi ESX, which builds upon existing products Roambi Analytics and Roambi Flow to provide the means to reach a larger audience. Roambi ESX not only enables organizations to publish to their existing audiences of employees and customers but also provides commercial opportunities to generate new revenue streams. For example, organizations can create a branded experience by using a custom logo or graphic that users see when they review an application for download. Roambi has learned from its experience in publishing software to the Apple App Store and now enables organizations to publish their own applications. With this step, Roambi has entered the mobile information and application platform market.

 Roambi also recently released an extension to Roambi Flow to help businesses publish content from existing presentations that they already use on a daily basis. Roambi Present addresses shortcomings of the original applications, including the difficulty and slowness of assembling information into views and deploy them, as cited by almost half (47%) of research participants. Presentations made in Apple Keynote and Microsoft PowerPoint can be starting points for enrichment through interactive analytics. Typically businesses create presentations using these tools, then save them in presentation mode or in static versions through Adobe Acrobat. Roambi Present can examine an existing presentation, capture the slides’ formatting, layout and content, and prepare it for enrichment within Roambi Flow. Then, through placement of Roambi Analytics or its reports into the slides, users can present supporting content as part of the presentation. Roambi also supports embedding hot spots in link images, such as maps, to charts. As well Roambi’s security prevents access to a presentation or data from those who are not authorized. This expansion will make Roambi more popular with business analysts who use Microsoft Office to create and email presentations.

 This is a refreshing approach to helping businesses assemble and deploy richer information to mobile devices, and it comes as businesses increase their use of tablets, which are often the primary computing vehicle for many classes of employees. In fact, our business analytics benchmark research found that 38 percent of organizations demand analytics and metrics be available via mobile technologies. With Roambi, they can deliver this information in presentations without help from the IT department, which reduces the time it takes to get information to those who need it. Roambi exceeds the capabilities of many other technology vendors in the business intelligence space, who focus on publishing charts from existing reports within an IT-managed environment; today, that does not provide the flexibility or depth of content that many organizations need. If Roambi could add support for collaboration from within its deployed applications and also add Android mobile technology support they could grow even faster.

 As organizations realize that Microsoft Office and its business intelligence tools do not meet their emerging information needs or suit how their business analysts operate, they will look for tools like Roambi Flow and Roambi Present to help engage their mobile audiences. As organizations look to brand and deliver their own custom information applications, Roambi ESX will help them quickly reach a large and growing mobile audience. Roambi continues to advance the technology that businesses need to meet their pressing cycles for both accessing and publishing information and analytics digitally across mobile technologies. It establishes a new standard for mobile information platforms with its interactive and visual discovery tools and its process to assemble and deploy publications, presentations and applications.


 Mark Smith – CEO & Chief Research Officer