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Informatica Integrates Big Data Management

Informatica Corp. introduced an integrated Big Data management platform to address challenges in modern analytics that reportedly cause most projects to fail.

Informatica Big Data Management tackles those problems by tying together the three main "pillars" of data management: integration; quality and governance; and security, said the company, which describes itself as a software innovator helping organizations prepare for the "all things data" future. Informatica says its mission is to help organizations "ingest, process, clean, govern and secure Big Data to repeatably deliver trusted information for analytics."

By integrating better security and other functionality, Informatica hopes to ease the "Big Data paralysis" that has held many organizations back from successfully leveraging the burgeoning technology.

The new platform also addresses the much-publicized skills shortage that hikes the Big Data project failure rate -- pegged at 67 percent in a 2012 Informatica survey -- and has led to slow adoption of Apache Hadoop technologies. The platform also lessens the need for hand-coding with a visual, graphical development environment, the company said, serving as another means to "democratize" Big Data by putting analytics within the reach of more business users who don't have developer or data science skills.

"Data is the lifeblood of business, and only Informatica does end-to-end data management for Big Data," said exec Anil Chakravarthy in a statement yesterday. "Big Data represents the next frontier of competitive differentiation, superior customer experiences and business innovation. From driving rapid project implementations to ensuring confidence in the data and the safety of sensitive information, Informatica Big Data Management empowers business and IT leadership with unparalleled automation, pre-built tools and optimized capabilities. This allows for quick experimentation and seamless, mission-critical production deployments that deliver maximum business value from Big Data."

Those pre-built tools include more than 200 connectors to ingest data of various types into analytics platforms such as Hadoop, NoSQL and MPP appliances. After ingestion, other pre-built tools are available for data processing, providing data integration and data quality transformations and parsers that run natively on Hadoop.

Those tools, combined with a graphical development approach, help developers ship products more quickly, the company said. "A visual development interface with parameterized development accelerates developer productivity and ensures that the best open source platform innovations can be adopted flexibly without sacrificing code resuability or maintainability," the company's Web site says. "Pre-built transformations and parsers ensure that projectgs can be deliverd quickly with out-of-the-box functionality."

For data quality and governance, the platform enables a collaborative stewardship of Big Data on the part of IT and business users via an intuitive, non-technical UX, along with 360-degree insight that helps discover hidden relationships. Large-scale data validation, enrichment and de-duplication can also be implemented, augmented by comprehensive auditing and analysis functionality, the company said.

Regarding the third pillar -- security -- Informatica said its management platform provides full-spectrum visibility that lets enterprises see who has access to sensitive information and who is actually using it, along with reports and vizualizations that portray sensitive data by geography, function and custom ranking attributes. Other security functionality includes risk analytics, sensitive data discovery, active alerting and policy-based protection through centralized policy management.

"With the growing dispersion of Big Data, organizations are increasingly challenged to understand where their sensitive data resides and what data assets can be trusted," the company said. "Informatica Big Data Management discovers sensitive data, its proliferation, usage, provenance and protection status to analyze and visualize sensitive data risk and vulnerabilities. It protects sensitive data by de-identifying and de-sensitizing information governed by corporate policies and industry regulations."

Informatica Big Data Management is available now through subscription, with a free trial offered.

"Informatica's move to have an exclusive offering focused on next-generation use cases is further evidence that Big Data is moving out of the labs and into the operations of the business," IDC analyst Steward Bond said in an IDC Link research opinion supplied by Informatica. "The new packaging and licensing alternatives of Informatica's Big Data Management platform provides buyers with more flexibility in procurement, and offers one data management vendor relationship for all data integration, data governance, and data security use cases, regardless of big or little data."

About the Author

David Ramel is editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine and Application Development Trends Magazine.

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