Hadoop, NoSQL and similar solutions for storing and managing Big Data have made plenty of headlines lately. But they're not the only thing happening in the world of Big Data. Data visualization, another key slice of this market, is also undergoing explosive growth as both new and established vendors roll out products for analyzing and interpreting large amounts of information. Read on for a look at the strategy of one of the latest, a startup called EdgeSpring, and how it compares to other contenders.
EdgeSpring's CEO and founder, Vijay Chakravarthy, describes the company's goals for Big Data analysis with phrases inlcuding, "Democratizing information access in the enterprise." That means delivering tools that are "designed from the ground up to empower users to rapidly derive business insights from data of any size or structure, without dependence on overburdened analysts and IT specialists," according to the company.
The EdgeSpring Business Intelligence and Analytics Platform, which is now generally available, pursues these goals by making it easy to collect information from a dataset based on user-defined criteria. The tool takes a decidedly point-and-click approach to data selection and updates information in real time as users specify different data bounds.
A video demonstration of the platform is available online, and—perhaps more intriguingly—EdgeSpring has also released a Web-based demo of the product that analyzes data from CrunchBase, which collects information on startups and venture-capital investments.
EdgeSpring calls its tools a "massively disruptive technology," which may be a bit of a stretch. Similar data-visualization solutions are already available from Pentaho, and it's not clear what EdgeSpring does that sets it radically apart.
Still, in more measured respects, EdgeSpring is doing a few things that are different. First, it is focusing, at least for now, solely on data visualization and analysis. That differentiaties it from Pentaho, for which data visualization is only part of a larger product platform that also covers data integration.
Second, and perhaps most importantly, EdgeSpring's emphasis on extraordinary user-friendliness—its promise to make data analysis easy enough for anyone, not just data specialists—is a novel strategy. If that amounts to more than a marketing pitch—which it seems to do, given the ease-of-use of the tools EdgeSpring has so far unveiled—it could make the company a compelling competitor. That's especially true in the Big Data market, where user-friendliness has become part of the core of the product messages of other vendors as well.
And if the $11 million in series A funding that the company also announced Thursday is any indication, EdgeSpring could well be poised to do significantly new things in the Big Data space. Stay tuned.