Briefing Update

Infoworks Helps Companies Get More Out of Big Data

This is part of a continuing series of briefing reports with solution providers. It is not intended to be a comprehensive product review, but rather an overview of what the vendor brings to the market, and a snapshot of their value proposition at the time ActualTech Media was briefed.

Big Data. Every company says they want to incorporate Big Data analysis into their operations, but very few companies have actually done it on a consistent basis. A big part of the reason is that they lack the expertise, tools and automation necessary to make it easy.

That’s where Infoworks comes in. Infoworks was created in 2014, so it’s a newcomer on the scene, and ActualTech Media took a briefing to dive deep into what the company does and how it’s shaking up the industry.

Infoworks was co-founded by CEO Amar Arsikere, who built a data warehousing platform on Bigtable at Google, then built one of the world’s largest in-memory database infrastructures at Zynga. He knows his data.

What he found were that the tools to do Big Data ingestion and analysis were severely lacking at his companies, so he figured that was the situation at other companies, too; they wanted to leverage the data they’ve got, but it’s so difficult that few companies are pulling it off.

The 800-pound gorilla in the space, Hadoop, has a lot of promise; but in reality, it’s too big and complicated for most companies to get much value out of. Infoworks pointed to a Gartner survey to back this up: just 15% of Hadoop deployments are in production, meaning that businesses are still trying to get it into production, or they’re giving up because of the massive amount of work it takes to properly implement. Eighty percent of the time is spent prepping data, not doing analytics, according to Infoworks. That just won’t get it done.

The key to Infoworks’ success is the “Autonomous Data Engine.” It automates the entire workflow, from source to consumption. This has use cases in advanced analytic applications, self-service analytics and business intelligence.

According to Infoworks’ website, the Autonomous Data Engine automatically crawls data sources, ranging from flat files to relational databases such as Teradata, Oracle, and SQL Server. It ingests source data in a high-performance, parallel process, while automatically preserving data precision. It also works on new data and old: it can migrate data out of legacy warehouses and move it to either Hadoop on-premises or in the cloud.

The promises Infoworks makes almost sound too good to be true, and skepticism is understandable. But a demo Infoworks showed us convinced us that it is, indeed, possible to automate data flows and get real, actionable insight without wrestling with a Big Data platform for months.

In short, what Infoworks is doing is very, very cool. This company is poised to do some very disruptive things in the years ahead.