Salesforce doubles down on big data with new analytics tool

Through a variety of partnerships, Wave for Big Data aims to open new data sources to Salesforce's Analytics Cloud

Salesforce Wave for Big Data

Salesforce Wave for Big Data

All the data "lakes" in the world won't amount to much if you can't figure out what they mean for your business. With that in mind, Salesforce on Thursday unveiled Salesforce Wave for Big Data, a new tool designed to help business users make sense of their information stores using the Salesforce Analytics Cloud.

The Analytics Cloud is based on the company's Wave platform, which was launched last October. The overriding goal is to make data more accessible to business users at all levels of the organization, Salesforce has said.

Earlier this year, Salesforce updated the offering with new mobile capabilities.

Now, with Salesforce Wave for Big Data, Salesforce has forged new ties between Analytics Cloud and key "data lake" enablers Google, Cloudera, Hortonworks and New Relic, giving business users access to a wider spectrum of big data.

Tapping the new integration with Google, for instance, a marketing manager could use Salesforce Wave for Big Data to analyze the correlations between customer profiles in Salesforce and actual customer engagement data from the Google Cloud Platform, such as purchases, clickstream and mobile app usage. Equipped with that information, the manager could better optimize marketing expenditures and boost customer acquisition, Salesforce said.

With the Hortonworks integration, on the other hand, a retail bank associate could explore volumes of operational, transactional and balance data stored in Hadoop to better understand local economic trends and provide new services.

"We see our partners as the big data lake," said Keith Bigelow, Salesforce's senior vice president and general manager for Analytics Cloud, in a press briefing on Wednesday. "We're pulling in only relevant information, applicable to a particular product or use case, for example -- either a small vertical sliver or an aggregate across a swath of customers."

Key data-preparation providers Trifacta and Informatica have also joined the Analytics Cloud ecosystem, Salesforce said, with an eye toward making big data more usable.

Salesforce says more than 80 partners have joined the Analytics Cloud ecosystem, which is now generally available in English; additional language support is forthcoming, it says. The Analytics Cloud mobile app is available on Apple iOS for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, with additional device support in the works.

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