The 10 Coolest Big Data Products Of 2015 (So Far)

Hot Market, Cool Technology

Big data analytics remains one of the fastest growing segments of the IT industry with market researcher Wikibon predicting that the worldwide market for big data analytics hardware, software and services will nearly double from $27.4 billion last year to $50 billion in 2018.

Sales for visual data discovery tools are exploding. And it seems that hardly a day passes without some new Hadoop-related software or cloud-based analytics application being introduced. We're also seeing interesting trends as big data analytics technology is applied to IT security and tools for analyzing the huge volumes of data generated by Internet-of-Things devices begin to hit the market.

Here's 10 big data products that debuted in the first half of this year that caught our attention.

For more on the "coolest" of 2015, check out "CRN's Tech Midyear In Review."

Tableau 9.0

Tableau launched this major release of its visual analysis software in April with faster performance and a new "analytics-in-the flow" capability that lets users stay focused on their analytical tasks rather than writing new calculations or preparing data. The application's Smart Maps are faster and more responsive while the new auto data preparation feature helps clean up messy data.

Seattle-based Tableau redesigned both the on-premise Tableau Server and hosted Tableau Online from the ground up to make the systems more scalable, extensible and resilient, according to the company.

Tableau Online 9.0 has more data connection options, including the ability to connect directly to MySQL, Postgres and SQL Server on cloud-based platforms such as Amazon Relational Database Service and Windows Azure. And a new Tableau Online Sync feature keeps on-premise data fresh for cloud analytics tools.

Bedrock Data

Businesses today have data scattered across multiple applications and data sources, from CRM and marketing automation applications to corporate payment systems. That can make connecting the data dots for, say, identifying a company's most promising customer prospects, nearly impossible.

In April Boston-based Bedrock Data launched its cloud-based data integration and management platform for disparate data sets after more that a year of development, testing and working with early-adopter customers. The integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) system automatically reviews, updates and synchronizes information across marketing, sales, email, ticketing and other data silos.

Qlik Sense 2.0

Qlik's original (and still best-selling) product is its QlikView data visualization software. But last year the company debuted Qlik Sense, the vendor's more powerful "self-service" business analytics system that gives users more freedom to create their own analytical charts and visualizations.

Qlik Sense is something of a business analytics paradigm shift because it pushes more responsibility to business users and changes the role of IT. In April the company launched Qlik Sense 2.0, a major upgrade of the software that lets users pull data from disparate sources throughout an organization into a single analytical application. The software also can collect information from external syndicated sources and combine it with internal operational data for analysis.


Despite being in stealth mode, Domo has been on many industry watchers' radar screens for some time – founder Josh James' resume includes founding Omniture, after all. Still, the company, based in American Fork, Utah, managed to surprise everyone earlier this year when it snagged a whopping $200 million in venture funding.

In April the company debuted its namesake cloud-based executive management system, which provides business managers with access to information scattered throughout an organization using a single dashboard. The application pulls data from some 300 sources, including cloud applications like and NetSuite and social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Snowflake Elastic Data Warehouse

Another closely watched startup that debuted its long-gestating product in the first half of this year is San Mateo, Calif.-based Snowflake Computing and its Snowflake Elastic Data Warehouse.

On-premise data warehouse systems are notorious for being complex, expensive and very time-consuming to build. Snowflake is providing a cloud alternative, a SQL data warehouse running on Amazon Web Services that's delivered as a service. It works with structured and semi-structured data, offers multidimensional elasticity, self-tuning functions, "extreme" high availability, disaster recovery and enterprise-class security.

MongoDB 3.0

MongoDB is a leading NoSQL database, one of a wave of such products that position themselves as alternatives to the relational database management systems, including Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server, that are core to many data centers today.

Earlier this year MongoDB launched MongoDB 3.0, which the New York company trumpeted as shifting the database market "into [the] post-relational era." The new release sports a new highly flexible storage architecture, based on technology from MongoDB's earlier WiredTiger acquisition, and significant performance and scalability enhancements.

Also new was MongoDB Ops Manager, an application that database administrators and IT operations managers use to manage MongoDB deployments and reduce operational overhead costs by as much as 95 percent, according to the vendor.

Couchbase N1QL

SQL is the standard language for developing applications that access data in relational databases and it is used by millions of developers around the world. In June NoSQL database developer Couchbase, Mountain View, Calif., introduced N1QL (pronounced "nickel"), a programming language that developers with SQL expertise can use to build enterprise web, mobile and Internet-of-Things applications that run on the Couchbase Server.

Couchbase and other NoSQL database companies position their software as an alternative to relational database systems. Getting developers and ISVs to build apps for NoSQL databases is key to expanding their adoption. N1QL leverages SQL constructs, making it familiar to SQL developers, while extending the SQL syntax to support the Counchbase Server's JSON data modeling architecture.

Attivio 5.0

A major hurdle to widespread adoption and use of business analytics tools among everyday business users is the complex task of locating relevant data in disparate sources and integrating it for analysis. Eighty percent of most business intelligence initiatives are centered on data integration tasks and much of that effort is identifying and profiling dispersed data.

Attivio 5, unveiled in June, is the Newton, Mass.-based vendor's latest release of its unified information access software that creates an index of all the structured and unstructured data in disparate sources across an organization, everything from relational databases, corporate applications, content management systems and Microsoft SharePoint.

Attivio 5 specifically offers more self-service capabilities that makes it possible for business analysts and data scientists to find and index information themselves without help from the IT department. And the new release can index data in the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) using a tool that runs natively in the big data platform.

Data Torrent RTS 3

One of the most difficult challenges in working with big data is analyzing streaming data in real time. Most data processing and analysis is done in batch mode on stored data or "data at rest." The Data Torrent RTS platform, designed to work in Hadoop clusters, is a unified stream and batch-processing platform that handles end-to-end tasks from data ingestion to real-time dashboards.

Data Torrent RTS 3, launched in June, offers new self-service data visualization features and graphical application assembly tools for building big data applications without coding. New scalable, fault-tolerant data ingestion capabilities improve the movement of Hadoop data.

Also significant, Data Torrent, based in Santa Clara, Calif., is making the software's core engine available as open-source technology known as Project Apex under an Apache 2.0 license.

Kyvos Insights

Kyvos Insights, which emerged from stealth mode in June, at the same time debuted its big data analytics software that can glean insights from huge volumes of corporate data.

Hadoop, the open-source platform that's becoming a standard for corporate big data systems, has been widely deployed for collecting and managing huge volumes of data. But businesses have struggled to find the best way to provide analysts and everyday business users with access to that data and derive value from it.

Kyvos's product is an OLAP (online analytical processing) application that supports multidimensional analytics on Hadoop. The software, according to the Los Gatos, Calif.-based company, can handle structured and unstructured Hadoop data "at any scale and granularity" and provide users with the ability to visualize and analyze big data interactively.