Data visualization plays an important role in a big data environment

Data visualization plays an important role in a big data environment

Enterprises are increasingly putting data visualization tools, like Tableau, at the top of their big data platforms to start making sense out of complex data.

Tableau Software is generally thought of as a lightweight piece of software, with fairly simple functionality. But users are increasingly putting it to work in more complicated big data environments, pushing the limits of what the data visualization tool can do.

“Data in itself is pretty meaningless. Insights need to be visual,” said Gaurav Kumar, product lead in the data science engineering team at GoPro, based in San Mateo, Calif., in a presentation at Tableau Conference 2016.

He described the company’s big data challenge, which includes bringing together data from a range of hardware and software platforms. Each camera the company sends log data back to GoPro servers, so the company can keep track of how people are using their products. The same goes for video-editing software that comes with cameras. Then, there are more conventional data sources, like CRM systems and other business applications.

Kumar and his team have worked to bring all this data into one platform, so it can play a role in directing product development and marketing initiatives. The big data environment starts by streaming log files into an HBase database using Kafka and Spark Streaming. Extract, transform and load jobs pull this data, as well as data from CRM and ERP systems, into a Hive data store. Data is further refined and passed to a data mart built using Cloudera Impala, which can be accessed using Tableau.

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Data visualization plays an important role in a big data environment

Tableau Software is generally thought of as a lightweight piece of software, with fairly simple functionality. But users are increasingly putting it to work in more complicated big data environments, pushing the limits of what the data visualization tool can do. “Data in itself is pretty meaningless.

 

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Eric Axelrod

President & Chief Architect at DIGR
I have helped companies bring new data driven products to market, drive efficiency out of their supply chain, execute strategic plans, and drive top line and bottom line growth by enabling every business function with actionable analytics. I can transform a business which is lacking critical insight into an agile, strategic, data driven organization.

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