Jun
13
2018
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Tableau gets AI shot in the arm with Empirical Systems acquisition

When Tableau was founded back in 2003, not many people were thinking about artificial intelligence to drive analytics and visualization, but over the years the world has changed and the company recognized that it needed talent to keep up with new trends. Today, it announced it was acquiring Empirical Systems, an early stage startup with AI roots.

Tableau did not share the terms of the deal.

The startup was born just two years ago from research on automated statistics at the MIT Probabilistic Computing Project. According to the company website, “Empirical is an analytics engine that automatically models structured, tabular data (such as spreadsheets, tables, or csv files) and allows those models to be queried to uncover statistical insights in data.”

The product was still in private Beta when Tableau bought the company. It is delivered currently as an engine embedded inside other applications. That sounds like something that could slip in nicely into the Tableau analytics platform. What’s more, it will be bringing the engineering team on board for some AI knowledge, while taking advantage of this underlying advanced technology.

Francois Ajenstat, Tableau’s chief product officer says this ability to automate findings could put analytics and trend analysis into the hands of more people inside a business. “Automatic insight generation will enable people without specialized data science skills to easily spot trends in their data, identify areas for further exploration, test different assumptions, and simulate hypothetical situations,” he said in a statement.

Richard Tibbetts, Empirical Systems CEO, says the two companies share this vision of democratizing data analysis. “We developed Empirical to make complex data modeling and sophisticated statistical analysis more accessible, so anyone trying to understand their data can make thoughtful, data-driven decisions based on sound analysis, regardless of their technical expertise,” Tibbets said in a statement.

Instead of moving the team to Seattle where Tableau has its headquarters, it intends to leave the Empirical Systems team in place and establish an office in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Empirical was founded in 2016 and has raised $2.5 million.

Sep
13
2017
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Percona Live Europe Featured Talks: Visualize Your Data with Grafana Featuring Daniel Lee

Percona Live Europe 2017

Percona Live Europe 2017Welcome to another post in our series of interview blogs for the upcoming Percona Live Europe 2017 in Dublin. This series highlights a number of talks that will be at the conference and gives a short preview of what attendees can expect to learn from the presenter.

This blog post is with Daniel Lee, a software developer at Grafana. His tutorial is Visualize Your Data With Grafana. This presentation teaches you how to create dashboards and graphs in Grafana and how to use them to gain insight into the behavior of your systems. In our conversation, we discussed how data visualization could benefit your database environment:

Percona: How did you get into database technology? What do you love about it?

Daniel: I’m a developer and my first job was working on a transport logistics system, which was mostly composed of Stored Procedures in SQL Server 2000. Today, I would not build a system with all the logic in Stored Procedures – but that database knowledge is the foundation that I built everything else on. Databases and their data flows will always be the core of most interesting systems. More recently, I have switched from Windows to working with MariaDB on Linux. Grafana Labs uses Percona Server for MySQL for most of our internal applications (worldPing and Hosted Grafana). Working with Grafana also means working with time series databases like Graphite, which is also very interesting.

I enjoy working with data as it is one of the ways to learn how users use a system. Design decisions are theories until you have data to either back them up or disprove them.

Percona: Your presenting a session called “Visualize Your Data With Grafana”. How does monitoring make DBAs life easier, and how do graphs make this information easier to apply for DBAs?

Daniel: Good monitoring provides top-level metrics (throughput, number of errors, performance) for alerting, and other lower-level metrics to allow you to dig into the details and quickly diagnose and resolve an outage. Monitoring also helps you find any constraints (for example, finding bottlenecks for query performance: CPU, row locks, disk, buffer pool size, etc.). Performance monitoring allows you to see trends and lets you know when it is time to scale out or purchase more hardware.

Monitoring can also be used to communicate with business people. It is a way of translating lots of different system metrics into a measurable user experience. Visualizing your data with graphs is a very good way to communicate that information, both within your team and with your business stakeholders. Building dashboards with the metrics that are important to you rather than just the standard checklists (CPU, disk, network etc.) allows you to measure the user experience for your application and to see long-term trends.

Percona: Why Grafana? What does Grafana do better than other monitoring solutions?

Daniel: Grafana is the de facto standard in open source for visualizing time series data. It comes with tons of different ways to visualize your data (graphs, heat maps, gauges). Each data source comes with its own custom query editor that simplifies writing complex queries, and it is easy to create dynamic dashboards that look great on a TV.

Being open source, it can be connected to any data source/database, which makes it easy to unify different data sources in the same dashboard (for example, Prometheus or Graphite data combined with MySQL data). This also means your data is not subject to vendor lock-in like it is in other solutions. Grafana has a large and very active community that creates plugins and dashboards that extend Grafana into lots of niches, as well as providing ways to quickly get started with whatever you want to monitor.

Percona: What do you want attendees to take away from your session? Why should they attend?

Daniel: I want them to know that you can make the invisible visible, with that knowledge start to make better decisions based on data. I hope that my session helps someone take the first step to being more proactive in their monitoring by showing them what can be done with Grafana and other tools in the monitoring space.

In my session, I will give an overview of monitoring and metrics, followed by an intro to Grafana. I plan to show how to monitor MySQL and finish off with a quick look at the new MySQL data source for Grafana.

Percona: What are you most looking forward to at Percona Live Europe 2017?

Daniel: Firstly, it is always great to have an excuse to visit Ireland (I’m an Irishman living in Sweden). I’m also looking forward to getting feedback from the community on Grafana’s new MySQL data source plugin, as well as just talking to people and hearing about their experiences with database monitoring.

Want to find out more about Daniel and data visualization? Register for Percona Live Europe 2017, and see their talk Visualize Your Data With Grafana. Register now to get the best price! Use discount code SeeMeSpeakPLE17 to get 10% off your registration.

Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2017 in Dublin is the premier European open source event for the data performance ecosystem. It is the place to be for the open source community as well as businesses that thrive in the MySQL, MariaDB, MongoDB, time series database, cloud, big data and Internet of Things (IoT) marketplaces. Attendees include DBAs, sysadmins, developers, architects, CTOs, CEOs, and vendors from around the world.

The Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe will be September 25-27, 2017 at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin.

Sep
06
2017
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Dataiku to enhance data tools with $28 million investment led by Battery Ventures

 Dataiku, a French startup that helps data analysts communicate with data scientists to build more meaningful data applications, announced a significant funding round today. The company scored a $28 million Series B investment led by Battery Ventures with help from FirstMark, Serena Capital and Alven. Today’s money brings the total raised to almost $45 million. Its most recent prior round… Read More

Apr
18
2017
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With DroneDeploy’s Fieldscanner, pilots can create maps as they fly

 Flying drones to inspect a farm, construction site, or any other venue from overhead can generate a huge amount of data. It takes time, though, for drone users to upload and turn this high-resolution data into maps, graphs or business intelligence they can act upon. Today, a data management platform for drones called DroneDeploy, is launching a tool called Fieldscanner that makes it possible… Read More

Feb
28
2017
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Reflect drops public beta to power developer-first data visualization

Abstract pattern of yellow pie charts on multiColored background of geometric shapes Data visualization has been done — we have publicly traded, interactive, real-time and heck even artificially intelligent companies promising data visualization. But despite all the noise, Portland-based Reflect is making a go of it in the space, opening up its public beta today. By putting developers first and letting them integrate and customize visualizations in their own… Read More

Oct
18
2016
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Looker expands beyond the confines of the application in its latest release

Looker interface The application is where we traditionally tend to work with a piece of software, but with the increasing use of APIs, sometimes the application is just one way of interacting with the tool. Looker announced version 4 of its data visualization tool today with expanded ways to make use of the data beyond the interface itself.
Sure, they updated the interface as part of today’s broad… Read More

Aug
23
2016
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Narrative Science can now describe your Tableau charts for you

NarrativeScience2 Tableau Software‘s shares soared 13 percent on Tuesday following the announcement that the data analytics provider has partnered with Narrative Science, a Chicago-based company that develops natural language generation (NLG) tools. The result of the partnership is Narratives for Tableau, a free Chrome extension that automatically creates written explanations for Tableau… Read More

Mar
17
2016
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Looker’s slick Slack integration inserts data directly into conversations

Chart on iPad Mini Looker, a data visualization and business intelligence startup announced a new component today that brings Looker data directly into Slack conversations without having to access the program separately. The new tool is called Looker Slack Bot and is built using the Slack bot technology. It provides a way for users working in Slack to access data related to the discussion.  They may want a… Read More

Oct
06
2014
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Alteryx Lands $60M To Boost Data Analytics App-Building Platform

Analyst helping executive with Alteryx. Alteryx, a company that has been providing a way to build analytical apps from a variety data sources via a workflow interface, got a big boost in funding today, announcing a $60M Series B round. The round was led by Insight Venture Partners with participation from existing investors SAP Ventures and Toba Capital. Their most recent round prior to this was $12M Series in May, 2013. The… Read More

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