As I approach the end of my first year as Pentaho’s CEO, I’ve being reflecting on two things: one, the exceptional opportunity that big data analytics presents to individual companies and the global economy and two, my good fortune in having joined such a courageous and visionary team of people. As you start planning for 2013, I wanted to take a few minutes to share some of my reflections.
Let me start with the opportunity. Many Western economies that we do business in have struggled this year, from 25 percent unemployment levels in Spain to double-dip recession in the UK to disappointing job growth in the US. And yet in the past year at Pentaho, we achieved record growth overall, with the last quarter being our best ever for big data sales.
Economists advocate the urgent need for growth but as many countries have learned the hard way, growth doesn’t arise simply from cost-cutting or producing more of the same, but in intelligently creating new demand.
And that’s precisely where big data analytics comes in. Big data analytics, with its potential to tap into the staggering wealth of online and corporate data, is empowering companies to identify new revenue opportunities and use precious resources more profitably and more sustainably.
Our customer stories prove that this opportunity is no pipe dream – whether it’s German-based developer Travian Games, which uses Pentaho to analyses usage patterns from 120 million gamers to innovate its products or Shareable Ink, an enterprise cloud application provider that analyses and presents critical, document-based information to health care professionals in order to improve patient care. These companies are outmaneuvering and outpacing their competitors in very crowded, saturated markets. And new uses cases for big data analytics are emerging all the time, like clickstream analysis in online retailing and device analytics in IT departments.
One of the biggest revelations for me this year has been hearing prospective customers tell me how hard it is it to work with big data technology. With amazing foresight, our product development team decided several years ago to take ‘the road less travelled’ in business intelligence and prioritized solving the most complex aspects of data integration for customers. This laid the foundation for our early leadership in big data analytics. Kenneth Wrife from our Swedish partner Omicron summed it up best when he said, “data visualization is of course necessary, but also something of a commodity. The hardest part of data integration is extracting data from a variety of different types of sources and assimilating that data so that it is ready to be analyzed. That’s what Pentaho does better than any other vendor’.
However, don’t imagine for a second that we’re resting on our laurels. In order for big data analytics to ‘cross the chasm’ into mainstream adoption, we aim to make it much easier for ordinary business users, data analysts and data scientists to work with. It also needs to be more accessible to the growing range SaaS-deployed applications on mobile devices, especially tablets. Without giving the game away, I can promise you that you will see some very exciting new developments unfolding in these areas in the fourth quarter.
We’d love to hear from you if you are defying the global economic slump and using big data analytics to identify new sources of value for your company. We hope you like what you see in Q4 and, as ever, thanks for your continued support.