ClearStory Data Pioneers Advances in Spark-native, Disparate Data Blending

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ClearStory-Data-LogoClearStory Data, the company bringing business-oriented Data Intelligence to everyone, announced new enhancements to its Apache Spark-native Intelligent Data Harmonization™ capabilities to address a broad market shift and accelerating requirement for everyday business people to access and blend disparate data and be more self-reliant in reaching deeper insights. ClearStory Data, the first industry solution natively built on Apache Spark, runs in the cloud and provides a simple business user application to speed disparate data analysis and accelerate data discovery.

The Business Intelligence (BI) market has reached an inflection point of rapid transformation. Two thirds (64%) of companies are already trying to combine five to 15 sources of data,1 and 92 percent of business users are still using Excel for analysis.1

The urgent need to access more disparate data, speed business insights, and the attractive economics and speed advantages of cloud-hosted solutions are further accelerating the shift to more modern architectures. To address the need for scalable and fast data processing, Apache Spark has spiraled into the forefront. Solutions like ClearStory Data prove Spark’s advantages for disparate and scalable data analysis. As a result, the modernization of BI and data analytics is experiencing its fastest pace of change ever.

Through 2017, Gartner research predicts the number of business users doing data analysis will grow five times faster than the number of highly skilled data scientists, 2 and most business users and analysts will access self-service tools to prepare data for analysis.3

To address this major market shift, ClearStory Data is announcing enhanced Spark-native Intelligent Data Harmonization and blending capabilities. New features include smart data matching and a visual, guided interface to make multi-source, complex dataset blending simple, fast and auditable. Smart data matching is visible and intuitive through new Google©-like visual maps that allow business users to see the specific path to holistic insights.

The new guided application interface introduces auto-alerts for inconsistencies in the data or disparate data combinations that may not blend well. Users can quickly navigate to what they want to see and explore within the harmonized data. ClearStory continues to accelerate modernization on every front, from its underlying Spark-native capabilities, through to the user application model, so tasks that were once overwhelming, complex, and slow are now fast, simple, and accessible to everyone.

Highlights of ClearStory Data’s enhancements include:

  • Access to a broad range of data and visual guidance for ad-hoc data blending and harmonization: Users can easily navigate a streamlined visual route to make changes on-the-fly and enrich insights with more data. Each step generates a dynamically updating “Data Story” that reveals explorable and flexible insights. The types of data that businesses need to combine and harmonize today include Excel files, relational data from existing data repositories, semi-structured data, and data from cloud-based applications.
  • Enhanced data intelligence and smart data matching with visual cues on data blending and best matches across complex data: The new ClearStory interface provides an interactive experience that informs users about auto-detected matching attributes of the datasets and relationships between attributes across data sources. The system detects and alerts data dimension inconsistencies and guides users to the best way to harmonize disparate data in situations where the data being combined isn’t a good fit. Users are alerted via visual cues and can review and resolve ambiguity and inconsistencies in blended data with just a few clicks.
  • New Data Lineage Visualizer to ensure integrity of data and insights: Business users can manipulate data to answer questions faster through a visual, self-service experience, versus rigid IT dashboards that constrain insights.  ClearStory’s advanced interface provides a visual map and data-blending blueprint in one intuitive and unified view. Users can click on any dataset in the map to explore its underlying granular details – to see how the data was blended and trace the applied data harmonization path. In a single view, users can easily iterate to answer questions quickly, without relying on data specialists to do it for them.

Customers in hyper-competitive markets, driven by consumer demand or increased market complexity – such as CPG, national retail, healthcare and logistics/manufacturing – need near real-time business-ready insights and solutions that automate complex tasks by providing an easy-to-use, intuitive application interface,” said Ali Tore, Chief Product Officer, ClearStory Data. “Through deeper visibility into what and how data is being blended and harmonized, paired with more automated intelligence through smart data matching, ClearyStory’s Spark-native solution and business-friendly application makes combining data a lot easier and faster so business users can be more self-reliant.”

With these advances in ClearStory’s Spark-based data matching and the richness and simplicity of its user model, business users can be self-sufficient in generating fast, business-ready insights across more data sources. ClearStory Data’s integrated, Spark-native architecture and visual, guided application interface speeds up every step – from data access and prep, to data modeling and harmonization.

1 Harvard Business Review, Analytics Services Report: “Data Blending: A Powerful Method for Faster, Easier Decisions” – August 31, 2015

2 Gartner, Inc. Report: “Smart Data Discovery Will Enable a New Class of Citizen Data Scientist” – June 29, 2015

3 Gartner, Inc. Report: “The Rise of Data Discovery Has Set the Stage for a Major Strategic Shift in the BI and Analytics Platform Market” – June 15, 2015


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