Jinfo BlogNew Entrants Shake Up Big Data Technology Market

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By Andrew Lucas

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The recent buyout of Informatica prompts Andrew Lucas to look at changes in the big data technology and software market as he considers whether traditional technology players in the big data market are taking a beating from newer, nimbler market entrants.


The $5.5 billion (£3.57 billion) leveraged buyout earlier this month of Informatica by the UK private equity firm Permira and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) underlines the continuing interest in "big data" technology and software. It follows the acquisition last September of Informatica's competitor Tibco Software by Vista Equity Partners in a $4.3 billion deal.

Informatica, founded in 1992, is a software company which produces "middleware" that connects computer systems together which create the vast amount of data that is warehoused for "big data" business analysis. Last year Informatica had sales of $1 billion and its pre-tax income rose 21% to $170.3 million (see Reuters).

Some commentators see the acquisition of Informatica and Tibco by private equity companies as a sign of the changes taking place in the market. An article on Datanami, the big data news portal, "What Informatica's Buyout Means to Big Data Integration", sees it as "a death knell of sorts for 'old style' ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) and the recognition that newer data integration technologies and techniques are here to stay".

Adapting to Rapid Changes

Informatica, like many technology companies, is trying to adapt to rapid changes in the industry. The focus of the company has been on adopting subscription-based models and cloud services,

According to Business Insider, "data warehousing is being replaced by faster, cheaper 'big data' technologies and middleware is taking a beating from cloud integration services ..."

One of these new competitors is SnapLogic, which was founded by Gaurav Dhillon, who previously created Informatica. Examples of other new style market entrants who are more agile and oriented towards self-service, include Alteryx, Clearstory Data, Trifacta, and Paxata.

The future, according to the Datanami article, will "be about how to efficiently move less-structured data from all sorts of sources into Hadoop or cloud-based repositories".

Making Sense of Big Data

These changes in the market and the ongoing investment in the sector highlights the continuing interest in big data. FreePint has been following big data for some time as it is clearly an important area for many information managers as organisations seek to make sense of either their own internal data or external data.

Relevant FreePint Topic Series have included "Making Information Visible" and "Big Data in Action", as well as well as looking at a variety of aspects relating to these topics, such as Constance Ard's article "Taking the Mystery Out of Big Data - Moving from Data Collection to Competitive Actions" and the blog looking at how "Big Data Techniques Afford Valuable Insights into Government Data".

Find Out More

FreePint continues to consider further aspects of big data, including an article coming soon from our analyst's attendance at the Wolfram Research London Summit which demonstrated the value of maths and computation in understanding big data. We will also be looking at some practical applications of big data with a case study of how one company uses big data.

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