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The 10 Biggest Big Data News Stories Of 2018

From company mergers and acquisitions, to new data protection regulations, to the rapid adoption of AI technology by software developers, the big data arena was anything but dull this year.

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8. Big Data Software Developers Offer Self-Service Data Preparation Capabilities

Traditionally, business analytics software and tools used to prepare data for analysis have been separate entities, with the latter almost exclusively used by data management professionals. But there has been a move by developers of big data and business analytics software to offer simpler data preparation tools that business workers can use to collect, prepare and format data on their own for business analytics tasks without waiting for the IT department.

Earlier in 2018 Tableau introduced Tableau Prep for self-service data preparation, making it easier for users to combine, shape and clean data for analysis. In November the company expanded on that technology with Tableau Prep Conductor, add-on software for automating and managing data flows for self-service data preparation at scale. "We see a future where data prep is so easy anyone can do it," said chief product officer Francois Ajenstat at Tableau's annual conference.

In July Qlik acquired Podium Data, a developer of "data catalog" data management software that helps prepare and deliver analytics-ready data to business users. Other business analytics software developers, including Birst, Hitachi Ventana and Sisense, already offer combined data preparation and business analytics capabilities.

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