Analyzing real-time streaming data remains one of the biggest challenges in business analytics. The demand for event-stream processing and analytics capabilities is growing as businesses look for ways to tap into the insights that can be gleaned from sensor data, web clickstreams, financial trading information, social media and other sources of live data.
This week Arcadia Data, a developer of visual analytics software for big data, unveiled Arcadia Instant for KSQL, an entry-level product that the company said makes it easier for business users to develop visualizations for data streaming through Apache Kafka systems.
"It's a new way of getting started with visualizing streaming data," said Dale Kim, senior director of products and solutions at Arcadia Data, of the San Mateo, Calif.-based company's latest software. "This opens up a new world for end users and analysts to Kafka."
The open-source Apache Kafka is a scalable, publish-and-subscribe messaging system that is becoming a core technology within many organizations for building real-time data pipelines and streaming applications. KSQL is an open-source SQL engine that provides an interface that allows applications to tap into and process Kafka data.
But organizations that implement Kafka generally load data from the system into data warehouses or other SQL databases for analysis, rather than working with the live data.
KSQL was introduced last year by Confluent, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based company founded by Kafka's original developers. The startup provides the Confluent Platform, a commercial version of Kafka, and related software and services.
Last month Arcadia Data unveiled a new release of its flagship Arcadia Enterprise system with KSQL integration capabilities. But that software is targeted more toward developers of business analytics systems.
Arcadia Instant for KSQL, desktop software that Arcadia offers as a free download, connects to Confluent Platform 4.1, providing business users with applications for analyzing and visually displaying the real-time data flowing through Kafka.
The combination of KSQL and Arcadia Instant provides Kafka access for analysts and users without the need for coding in Java or Python, according to Kim.
Arcadia Data works with reseller, consultant, ISV and systems integration partners and Kim said the new Arcadia Instant offers partners a way to quickly develop proof-of-concept systems for customers, providing a way to demonstrate the value of real-time data visualization.
Arcadia Data is offering Arcadia Instant with Docker images that run Apache Kafka and KSQL.
Arcadia is also providing a new feature in its software called Time Warp that provides views of different time windows in the data stream.