Platfora brings analysis to Internet of Things data

A customized version of Platfora's data analysis platform can work with data from Internet of Things systems

Business people can access and analyze the rawest forms of machine and sensor data with Platfora's analysis platform.

Business people can access and analyze the rawest forms of machine and sensor data with Platfora's analysis platform.

Software provider Platfora has extended its analysis software to work with data generated by sensors, machines and other devices that are part of the Internet of Things.

With IoT systems, "the amount of data that is being collected drives you to change the way the data is modeled and prepared," said Pete Schlampp, Platfora vice president of products.

The company's flagship product, Platfora Big Data Analytics, provides a set of visual data analysis tools for data residing in large Hadoop clusters, including capabilities to execute queries, build reports and provide dashboard-like summaries of datasets. The software can also prepare data for analysis, eliminating the need to set up external data warehouses or other tools.

On Thursday, the company announced that it has prepared a customized version of this software to work with the immense amounts of data that IoT systems can generate. The company found, for instance, that much of the data from remote systems tends to be packaged in the JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) or XML formats, so the platform can natively recognize and work with these data structures.

"We're seeing a lot of companies trying to get their hands on the machine data and sensor data on their networks and ask questions of this data," Schlampp said. IT analysis firm Gartner predicted that by 2020, there will be 26 billion connected IoT devices. "The era of big data will actually be dwarfed by IoT data in a couple of years."

The software has a number of other capabilities that would be useful for analyzing IoT data. For instance, it has the ability to segment groups of connected devices and machines, based on their behavior or attributes. The package also has a number of advanced analysis capabilities, such as the ability to correlate data across many different devices, to identify large-scale trends.

One company already using the technology has been Vivint, a provider of home security, home automation and energy conservation services and products. Vivint was able to use the software to pinpoint a firmware issue with a number of home systems, which the company was able to correct before any affected customers realized it was an issue. Other enterprise customers of Platfora include Citi, Sears, AutoTrader, Disney, and Edmunds.com.

Platfora's software can work with any Hadoop distribution, such as those offered by Hortonworks, Cloudera and MapR. It can interoperate both with on-premise and cloud deployments of Hadoop. The software starts at about US$90,000 for an enterprise deployment.

Other companies offering analysis tools for Hadoop platforms include Xplenty, IBM, Tableau, and Pentaho.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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