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Metanautix Aims Low with Big Data Tool

As Big Data is democratized into "just data," vendors such as Metanautix Inc. and Datameer Inc. are providing tools to lower the bar for individual access to large-scale analytics.

Following the Datameer introduction last month of its Hadoop service targeted at department-level analysts, Metanautix last week unveiled Personal Quest, described as the industry's first "data compute engine," targeting individual users.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based Big Data analytics company's analytics tool is free to single users, with usage limits and sharing requirements that aren't found in its for-sale products.

The company's Quest products enable the analysis of disparate data stores -- such as NoSQL and SQL-based databases -- of any size even when they're stored in discrete silos. Users can join data from Teradata, MongoDB, Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), MySQL, Amazon S3 and plain text files and analyze it with the Tableau visualization tool, for example.

"The latest release includes more than 90 functions including k-means clustering and fuzzy joins for Customer 360 applications," the company said in a news release. "Quest is also extensible and can execute new or existing Python code from English-like SQL statements. Personal Quest allows a user to evaluate the speed and usability of the Metanautix data compute engine on a laptop or single machine before scaling to larger teams and sets of data with the unlimited scaling of Enterprise Quest. The free version empowers every type of analyst to leverage multiple sources of data and find answers fast, without elaborate setup or overhead."

Although free with the aforementioned restrictions, Personal Quest licensing must be renewed every 45 days.

As new tools emerge to democratize Big Data and simplify its use, tools such as Personal Quest exemplify the transition of the young technology from an arcane, mysterious tool usable only by highly trained data scientists into an everyday experience. In doing so, the concept of Big Data is becoming murkier, subsumed into just normal enterprise data operations.

"'Big Data' is going to disappear in the next two or three years and it's going to be called -- guess what? -- 'data,'" Gartner Inc. analyst Donald Feinberg told ADTMag.com last year. "Once every vendor has a Big Data something, it no longer gives me a way to distinguish one vendor from another."

Ovum analyst Tony Baer indicated the new Personal Quest tool fits right in with the new enterprise approach.

"For most enterprises, there is no platform that provides a single source of the truth," Metanautix quoted Baer as saying. "Increasingly, enterprises are looking to a variety of sources to get the big picture. As enterprises rely on an increasingly heterogeneous mix of SQL, NoSQL and Big Data platforms for insights, they will require tools that provide transparent access to data, no matter where it resides or in what form."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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