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From Hadoop ETL to Big Data Insights: Syncsort and Tableau Deliver A Fully Integrated Approach that Gets You From Data Blending to Data Discovery & Visualization in 1 Click

For years, Business Intelligence tools have promised democratization of data and self-service BI, however, when the rubber hits the road, users – business workers, data analysts, data scientists – end up having to wait much longer for their data. Simply changing a KPI – for example, aggregating on city rather than just state – on a report can translate into weeks of waiting and frustration. First, they need to wait for data models to be updated, then for ETL to be designed, the new metric to be created and finally the report to be updated. Meanwhile, IT has to juggle hundreds of business requests for new data. Sound familiar?

The good news is the data landscape is changing very rapidly; business users are increasingly tech savvy and want more self-service capabilities. If it’s true that every company needs to be data-driven in order to survive, then it’s also true that employees at all levels of the organization have to become data-savvy, and they know it. However, they need a different way to consume data, one that is far more intuitive and agile than conventional BI tools. That’s why business users love tools like Tableau, which provides a more natural, end-user oriented approach to explore data and discover new insights.

But, how about ETL? Users need access to a wider variety of data from new as well as old, legacy sources. A marketing analyst at a retail organization may need to blend and visualize transactional data coming from mainframe systems with historical data from Hadoop and social media data from Twitter feeds in order to develop more effective demand generation campaigns. You can find similar stories in almost every business function and industry.

This is exactly where Syncsort comes into play. Through our partnership with Tableau, we’ve developed unique technology to easily blend data coming from virtually any data source and generate a Tableau data extract (TDE). This allows developers as well as business users to quickly get the data they need and feed it directly into Tableau. The integration is such that there are no additional install pre-requisites, Syncsort includes the Tableau API.

The potential is huge:

  • An operations manager who is visualizing the latest production data can discover hidden bottlenecks by quickly adding operational data stored in Hadoop
  • A branch manager from a major bank can find additional customer satisfaction insights by blending Twitter feeds with transactional mainframe data

All of this without writing a single line of SQL or any code. While we expect in most cases ETL developers will continue to create most TDE files, the ease-of-use that you get with Syncsort means it’s a lot easier for data-savvy business users to create their favorite blends for Tableau reports. The light-footprint and stand-alone workstations make it really easy to install on every laptop. Once there, a library of use case accelerators for common data flows and free training resources can take you from zero to fully productive in minimum time. In the end, everybody wins; Tableau users can get access to the data they need faster, while freeing up highly skilled ETL developers to focus on more complex, sophisticated data flows.

But, as they say a picture – or in this case a video – says more than a thousand words. So, if you’re tired of waiting, you may want to look at the short demo we’ve prepared for you.

Follow Jorge A. Lopez on Google+

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  • […] this is just the beginning. Using DMX, you can integrate the data with Tableau seamlessly for further analysis. Once visualized, valuable insights into what’s working and what […]

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