Big Data 100: Business Analytics

Big Data Business Analytics

Businesses are struggling with the rapidly increasing volume, speed and variety of information being generated today -- what's come to be known as big data. Companies are seeking technologies that not only help them process and manage all that data, but tap into it to develop insights about the markets they compete in as well as their own performance within those markets.

Recognizing that need we present the inaugural Big Data 100 list, developed by the CRN editorial team, identifying vendors that have demonstrated an ability to innovate in bringing to market products and services that help businesses manage big data. Here are 50 business analytics companies, including industry stalwarts and startups.


Location: New York
Top Executive: CEO Sandy Steier

1010data provides an integrated database management system and analytics solution targeted at the retail, consumer packaged goods, finance, government, health-care and telecom sectors. One of 1010data's flagship analytics tools, the Trillion-Row Spreadsheet, lets users analyze big data in a familiar, Microsoft Excel-like user interface.


Location: San Mateo, Calif.
Top Executive: President and CEO Peter Cittadini

Actuate founded and helps lead the BIRT open-source project, which is dedicated to building an Eclipse-based open-source reporting system for Web applications. The company's ActuateOne platform is based on BIRT and supports a range of big data analytics and customer communications applications.

Alpine Data Labs

Location: San Mateo, Calif.
Top Executive: President and CEO Tom Ryan

Founded by former members of EMC's Greenplum team, Alpine Data Labs specializes in predictive analytics. Alpine Data Labs' analytics platform works on both Hadoop-based and traditional data sources and, according to the company, is a breeze to navigate and deploy.


Location: Irvine, Calif.
Top Executive: CEO Dean Stoecker

Alteryx develops strategic analytics software that combines enterprise data with industry-specific insights to help businesses make better decisions. The company's Analytics Gallery cloud service streamlines the publishing and sharing of analytical applications through public and private cloud services.


Location: Newton, Mass.
Top Executive: CEO Ali Riaz

Attivio's forte is bundling enterprise search, business intelligence and big data to give organizations a more clear-cut view of their business and their data. Attivio's Active Intelligence Engine sits between data sources and analytical apps to provide data search and integration capabilities.


Location: Palo Alto, Calif.
Top Executive: CEO Gurjeet Singh

Ayasdi makes software that helps companies find the underlying shape of their data -- literally. By coupling hundreds of algorithms with a branch of mathematics called Topology, its software finds patterns and relationships within large sets of data by highlighting their underlying geometric shapes.


Location: San Francisco
Top Executive: CEO Brad Peters

Birst strives to put big data in the hands of business users with its self-service business analytics and dashboarding tools. Users can leverage Birst's business intelligence suite to combine and analyze data from disparate sources in realtime and tap into a library of interactive data visualizations to make that data come to life.


Location: San Francisco
Top Executive: CEO Dave Fowler

As the company's name suggests, Chartio specializes in interactive charts and dashboards for big data analytics. The company says its tools offer an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that makes them easy for business users to deploy and navigate, without help from IT.


Location: San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
Top Executive: CEO Mark Theissen

Cirro aims to minimize the learning curve for big data analytics by offering solutions that let users analyze large data sets with the business intelligence tools they already have. Its Analyst for Excel tool, for example, lets users analyze data within Excel, and tap into the Cirro Function Library for generic SQL and Map-Reduce functions.

ClearStory Data

Location: Palo Alto, Calif.
Top Executive: CEO Sharmila Shahani-Mulligan

ClearStory Data recognizes how disparate organizations' data sources have become and makes analytics tools to address it. Users can leverage ClearStory's tools to tap into a variety of data sources -- whether it's Hadoop, a traditional relational database, or websites such as Facebook and Twitter -- and make interactive reports based on that data.

Continuum Analytics

Location: Austin, Texas
Top Executive: CEO Travis Oliphant

Continuum Analytics is hard at work developing the next generation of tools to make the Python programming language as powerful and successful for big data and for business data analytics as it has been for science, engineering and scalable computing.


Location: Nashua, N.H.
Top Executive: CEO Paula Long

DataGravity has been mum on the details of its in-the-works big data solutions, but signs suggest it is building a data management and analytics platform that allows users to gain insight into unstructured data, without the need for what the company calls "complex software packages."


Location: San Mateo, Calif.
Top Executive: CEO Stefan Groschupf

Datameer's claim to fame is an integrated solution for performing big data management, integration and self-service analytics. The company's analytics solution is a single application that requires no ETL or static schemas and comes preloaded with 200-plus functions.


Location: San Francisco
Top Executive: CEO Rob Bailey

Datasift makes a "social" big data analytics platform purpose-built for mining and analyzing data from social media sites and other social platforms. Datasift's tools help companies use data from these social-driven sources to manage customer relationships or monitor the public's perception of a brand.


Location: Boston
Top Executive: President and CEO Mike Baker

DataXu is using big data to help marketers build and improve their brands in today's digital world. Understanding that traditional marketing methods are no longer effective in such a Web- and social-driven market, DataXu's software helps advertisers tap into big data to market their products across multiple digital channels.

Digital Reasoning

Location: Franklin, Tenn.
Top Executive: CEO Tim Estes

Digital Reasoning's Synthesys is a big data platform that can analyze both structured and unstructured data and help discover relationships between the two. Synthesys targets government and financial organizations, where it can be leveraged to detect fraud and mitigate other risks.


Location: Atlanta
Top Executive: CEO Radhika Subramanian

Emcien makes a unique big data analytics solution for the retail, distribution, manufacturing and government markets. EmcienMix lets users get a realtime read on customer buying patterns, while EmcienScout helps law enforcement agencies use data to identify potential sources of unrest.


Location: Sunnyvale, Calif.
Top Executive: President and CEO Puneet Pandit

Glassbeam offers prepackaged big data analytics applications for customer support teams, marketers and other unique groups. Technical or customer support groups, for instance, can use Glassbeam's solutions to anticipate a support issue before a customer even places a call for help.


Location: San Francisco
Top Executive: CEO Roman Stanek

GoodData offers cloud-based big data applications -- or "Bashes," as the company calls them -- aimed at helping organizations better monitor and improve their customers' buying experience. Most recently, GoodData launched its GoodSuccess Bash, which tracks product engagement activity within an organization's key customer accounts.


Location: Mountain View, Calif.
Top Executive: CEO Larry Page

Google's play in the big data space is anchored by BigQuery, a cloud-based service that lets users perform interactive analysis on up to billions of rows of data. Users can run ad hoc SQL queries on multi-terabyte data sets in what Google says is just seconds.


Location: Cambridge, Mass.
Top Executive: CEO Justin Borgman

Hadapt touts its Hadapt Adaptive Analytic Platform as merging the best of Hadoop and relational database management software into a single big data platform. The result, the company says, is a high-performance analytics system capable of working with structured and unstructured data.


Location: San Francisco
Top Executive: CEO Jana Uhlig

HStreaming’s Apache Hadoop-based platform provides analytics capabilities for unstructured sources of data, such as video content and embedded sensors. It’s compatible with all major Hadoop distributions, with common use cases including video analytics, particularly in the military, along with network analytics and fraud detection.

Information Builders

Location: New York
Top Executive: President and CEO Gerald Cohen

Information Builders targets industries ranging from education to health care to hospitality with its big data business intelligence suite. The company's flagship business intelligence product is WebFocus, which offers tools including dashboards, scorecards and guided ad hoc reporting to build analytics reports and then share them with team members.


Location: San Francisco
Top Executive: CEO Brian Gentile

Jaspersoft helps users visualize any data -- whether relational, OLAP or big data -- with interactive HTML5 charts and dashboards. Users can perform"’what-if" analysis with Jaspersoft's prebuilt calculations and browser-based analysis can be designed within a Web app and then deployed throughout an organization.


Location: Cupertino, Calif.
Top Executive: CEO Gail Ennis

Karmasphere has three main offerings: Karmasphere Analyst, which gives information analysts access to structured and unstructured data in Hadoop; Karmasphere Studio, which provides tools for developing custom algorithms for Hadoop; and Karmasphere Analytics Engine, the foundation for its software.


Location: New York
Top Executive: President and CEO Steve Millard

Kognitio touts its Analytical Platform as the industry's first to leverage in-memory computing. The platform can run both on-premise and in a public or private cloud as a Platform-as-a-Service and is compatible with most ETL and business intelligence solutions available today.


Location: Redwood City, Calif.
Top Executive: President and CEO Paul Doscher

LucidWorks applies the concept of search engines to big data, offering a development platform that accelerates and simplifies the creation of enterprise-grade search applications. In addition to being used to build search apps more quickly, LucidWorks Search can help streamline search setup and optimization for more reliable results.


Location: Tysons Corner, Va.
Top Executive: CEO Michael Saylor

MicroStrategy offers a number of in-memory and business intelligence solutions targeted at the big data space. Among them is MicroStrategy Mobile, an analytics tool that allows users to drill down into big data sources and create touch-optimized reports directly from their mobile devices.


Location: Gent, Belgium
Top Executive: CEO Luc Burgelman

NGData has a number of big data solutions in its lineup, but its flagship analytics tool is Lily, which aims to give organizations deeper insight into their customer base. Positioned as a "consumer intelligence solution," Lily can be used to identify trends and changes in consumer behavior and help create more effective advertisements.

Palantir Technologies

Location: Palo Alto, Calif.
Top Executive: CEO Alex Karp

Palantir's suite of applications for integrating and analyzing unstructured data has quickly gained traction in the intelligence, defense and law enforcement industries. The software also can be used to fuel disaster recovery efforts and was leveraged during Hurricane Sandy to help track volunteers and identify the areas most in need of help.

Panarama Software

Location: Toronto
Top Executive: CEO Eynav Azarya

Panarama's Necto is a Web-based business intelligence solution that lets users connect to almost any data source and then model that data using in-memory technology. Necto also has a built-in business intelligence recommendation engine that can create associations between data, user profiles and more to reveal relationships users never even knew existed.


Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Top Executive: Managing Director Willem De Geer

Panopticon stands out from other big data business intelligence vendors with its sprawling portfolio of data visualization tools. Among Panopticon's more than 15 solutions for visualizing data in realtime are Treemaps, interactive "maps" of data that present information in different sizes and colored boxes to help users instantly identify correlations and outliers.


Location: Campbell, Calif.
Top Executive: CEO Charles Berger

ParAccel provides a massively parallel and columnar database optimized for high-performance big data analytics. To streamline the analytics process, ParAccel has surrounded that database with more than 500 embedded analytics functions users can tap into out-of-the-box or, over time, build their own library of advanced functions.


Location: Waltham, Mass.
Top Executive: CEO Marilyn Matz

Paradigm4 is the key driver behind SciDB, an open-source database technology designed specifically to satisfy the demands of data-intensive scientific problems. According to Paradigm4, SciDB can run complex analytical functions that run in parallel on all computing nodes to maintain top-notch performance.


Location: Orlando, Fla.
Top Executive: CEO Quentin Gallivan

Pentaho's Business Analytics platform is a Web-based interactive solution for accessing data, creating reports and dashboards, and then visualizing that data -- whether it comes from Hadoop, NoSQL or traditional databases. Chip giant Intel bundles Pentaho's solutions into its newly launched Hadoop distribution.


Location: San Mateo, Calif.
Top Executive: CEO Ben Werther

Platfora, which came out of stealth mode in October, offers in-memory business intelligence software that can directly analyze data in Hadoop without the need for building a complex (and expensive) data warehouse or traditional data store. According to its CEO, Platfora could represent "the beginning of the end of the data warehouse."

Qlik Technologies

Location: Radnor, Pa.
Top Executive: CEO Lars Bjork

Qlik Technologies' Business Discovery platform provides big data business intelligence and search capabilities, but what truly makes it unique is its focus on collaboration. The platform encourages ongoing exchanges among team members, who can bookmark and leave notes directly within Qlik's business intelligence apps for other users to see.


Location: Palo Alto, Calif.
Top Executive: CEO Ashish Thusoo

Qubole is developing what it calls an "auto-scaling" platform for analyzing and processing big data. Its aim is to offer cloud-based Apache Hadoop and Hive services that handle all infrastructure complexities behind the scenes, eliminating the need for IT teams to architect and manage their own Hadoop clusters.

Retention Science

Location: Santa Monica, Calif.
Top Executive: CEO Jerry Jao

Retention Science's Customer Profiling Engine is a big data marketing platform that helps online businesses analyze huge volumes of data to build and maintain customer loyalty. The startup's applications particularly help e-commerce companies predict how price-sensitive customers are and then develop promotions based on those findings.

Revolution Analytics

Location: Palo Alto, Calif.
Top Executive: CEO Dave Rich

Revolution Analytics offers software and services that support users of R, the open-source programming language for developing statistical software and data analysis applications. The company offers both an enterprise and free community versions of its Revolution R software, the former of which can perform advanced analytics on terabyte-class data sets.


Location: Walldorf, Germany
Top Executive: CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe

A longtime powerhouse in business intelligence and analytics, SAP targets the big data space primarily with SAP HANA, an in-memory database it says boosts data-processing speeds and analytical calculations. SAP's analytics offerings, including SAP Business Suite, SAP Business One and SAP BusinessObjects, can be used in conjunction with HANA.


Location: Cary, N.C.
Top Executive: CEO Jim Goodnight

SAS' Visual Analytics software is a suite of tools that helps analysts and business users quickly explore large amounts of data. SAS, the world's largest privately held IT vendor, said its sales grew 5.4 percent in 2012, riding the growing demand for big data analysis applications.


Location: Redwood Shores, Calif.
Top Executive: CEO Amit Bendov

SiSense says it has "the world's smallest big data analytics" system in its SiSene Prism offering, which is able to crunch 1 TB of data on a laptop with only 8 GB of RAM. The company promotes Prism -- which recently became available on Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud -- as a cheaper and easier-to-use alternative than the competition.


Location: San Francisco
Top Executive: CEO Godfrey Sullivan

Splunk is a data engine that can collect, index and harness machine data generated by applications, servers and devices, whether physical, virtual or in the cloud. Splunk also makes that data searchable and allows users to analyze both realtime and historical data from a single location.

Sumo Logic

Location: Mountain View, Calif.
Top Executive: President and CEO Vance Loiselle

Sumo Logic's cloud-based log management and analytics solution aims to eliminate the complexity associated with on-premise log management software, helping companies mine their enterprise log files to make new discoveries related to security, operations and more.

Tableau Software

Location: Seattle
Top Executive: CEO Christian Chabot

Tableau Software specializes in visual analytics for big data, with its claim to fame being the simplistic, drag-and-drop nature of its user interfaces. Tableau's solutions are integrated with almost all leading Hadoop distributions, including Hortonworks and Cloudera.


Location: Palo Alto, Calif.
Top Executive: CEO Vivek Ranadive

In addition to its data analytics and visualization tools for big data, Tibco makes an event processing platform that lets businesses quickly capture, analyze and act on trends happening around them, for instance helping to reschedule a complex chain of shipments to avoid delays down the road.


Location: New York
Top Executive: CEO Eran Gilad

Tracx makes a social media management system that helps users sift through data from sites such as Facebook and Twitter to find the most relevant information related to their company. Organizations also can use Tracx to monitor their performance against competitors and gain a "360-degree" view of the social media activity surrounding their brand.

Via Science

Location: Cambridge, Mass.
Top Executive: CEO Colin Gounden

Via Science modestly describes its business as "helping companies predict the future." The company's machine learning platform, called "REFS," runs on a massively parallel supercomputer and is capable of discovering cause-and-effect relationships within huge volumes of data – not just data correlations as other technologies do. Those causal relationships, according to Via Science, are used to produce models that help decision-makers predict business outcomes in such areas as digital marketing effectiveness, pricing, trade promotion, customer churn and other business functions. Already proven in healthcare and financial services markets, Via Science is now applying its technology to problems in online commerce, retail, insurance and gaming industries.


Location: Reston, Va.
Top Executive: CEO Justin Langseth

Zoomdata's solutions help companies tap into internal and external data sources, combine those sources, and then visualize the related data streams in realtime. The company just launched the beta release of its big data application, with a version for the iPad now available.