Big reminder to big data and analytics after Google receives €50m fine

January 23, 2019

The recent fine received by Google from France in regards to GDPR is a clear reminder to the big data and analytics market.

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With another case involving a leading business showing the potential implications, businesses will need to focus further past consent and be capable of clearly showing they are allowed to utilise analytics and AI. Data analytics is critical to many businesses, their future development and enabling progressive innovation, but this is a significant challenge that needs to be addressed.

As Gary LaFever, the CEO at Anonos explains that in the scenario where analytics and AI cannot specifically highlight the time of data collection, businesses will not be able to rely on consent as done prior to the introduction of GDPR.

Under the new GDPR regulations, new safeguards are necessary to support both AI and analytics. To comply with the GDPR rules and essentially remain legal, companies will need to have a GDPR-compliant list of safeguards in place for the second stage of processing, covering analytics and artificial intelligence.

According to Anonos, these safeguards will need to incorporate the following steps:

-Include a balance of interest test that includes ‘functional separation’ (the options segment information value of data from the actual identity of each data subject). This reduces the negative impacts related to data subjects and ensures the legitimate interests of the data controller are not removed. There have been several legal cases involving major businesses that make it quite clear that attempting to claim a ‘legitimate interest’ in personal data is simply not enough.

-Ensure the compliance with secondary processing is in line with the original purpose for which the data was gathered.

-Prevent access as a standard to the minimum data required for each purpose for what is processed. This is referred to as Data Minimisation involving a specific level of control over data availability.

Technical safeguards to meet the requirements of GDPR were not required for lawful secondary processing using consent. This means many businesses do not have the required technology available. Essentially was previously viewed as acceptable prior to the implementation of GDPR is now no longer viewed as legal.

La Fever believes that companies do need to address and action relevant technical safeguards and introduce functional separation in an efficient way that has little impact on overall access to data, analytics and AI, enabling continued growth and innovation within the wider market.


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Qlik confirms the acquisition of CrunchBot, enhancing its current analytics capabilities

January 23, 2019

Leading global data analytics provider Qlik has confirmed the acquisition of CrunchBot AI-driven analytics bot as well as Crunch Data’s team of artificial intelligence and solution focused professionals.

Recent acquisitions boosts Insightsoftware’s place in the EPM market

Qlik announced the deal explaining that the acquisition will extend their current augment intelligence and cognitive potential by creating additional conversational analytics, enhancing its existing platform and open APIs. Qlik has stated that their customers can now interact and analyse their data by using natural language via Qlik Sense and within other popular tools such as Skype, Slack, Salesforce Chat and Microsoft Teams.

Mike Capone, the Qlik CEO has explained to media that by bringing CrunchBot and Crunch Data into Qlike, customers will find it easier to include data more frequently into workflows, ensuring analytics is a vital part in the daily process of decision making.

Capone states that Qlik is continually seeking new methods to generate augmented intelligence for its customers and to enhance overall data literacy. According to Capone, acquisitions like this one will improve the potential of their customers and partners to utilise data and insights even further, increasing the overall value of the data and their business.

Capone refers to a recent report by Gartner which suggested that by 2020, nearly 50% of analytical queries will be performed via search, NLP or Voice, or will be automatically created. Customers at Qlik already can benefit from augmented intelligence and natural language search options. Acquiring CrunnchBot expands those tools further via a specific conversational and natural language platform. Qlik believes CrunchBot will work uniquely with Qlik, connecting the gap between visual discovery and conversational analytics.

CrunchBot has been validated by Qlik for quality, functionality and has been developed upon Qlik’s open API framework and the supporting platform. CrunchBot allows users to perform the following:

  • Create questions in a conversational style via the Qlik Sense UI or through other major tools such as Slack, Skype or Salesforce Chat.
  • Analyse their data and ask specific questions via voice interaction developed and integrated with other mainstream services such as Amazon Alexa.
  • Gain detailed answers and insights, as well as auto-generated charts, interpretations, calculations over specific periods and predictive analysis data.
  • Simple access to Qlik Sense analytics apps to measure your results further.
  • Utilise Natural Language Processing (NLP) which naturally learns and measure user inquiries over a space of time, as well as Natural Language Generation (NLG) which generates insights on what is currently happening, why, and what to do next.

In contrast to other specific search services, this service between Qlik and CrunchBot will provide the best of both worlds. It will allow customers to utilise the conversational experience and then shift to the visual side for a more detailed insight and understanding of the data. Customers and partners at Qlik will see an increasing uptake in analytics and data literacy due to a more efficient and simpler way to ask questions, generate insights and make informed decisions with CrunchBot.

Crunch Data will support further development of analytics and at the same time improve results for customers. The product will be integrated into Qlik’s existing platform, enhancing the ability to generate high value and managed services. The team of professionals at Crunch Data, which includes a range of AI professionals and offshore development experts, have a strong working record of delivering successful projects.

Nish Patel, the CEO of CrunchBot and co-founder of Crunch Data recently stated that Qlik is the leader in analytics and in delivering augmented intelligence and machine learning to its customers. Patel states how excited they are to be a part of their advanced services, supporting their customers and ultimately making it simpler for people to understand their data.

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Big Data Analytics Market to increase to over $40 billion by 2023

January 15, 2019

Big data analytics is continuing to be a rapidly progressing industry with no indication of slowing down.

According to data provided by, the global data analytics market is expected to reach a value of over $40 billion by 2023, with a combined annual growth rate of just under 30% from 2017 until 2023.

The Asia-Pacific market, in particular, is showing strong interest in the big data market. A growth forecast report from the IDC suggests that there is a strong appeal for big data in the Asia Pacific and will likely have a significant influence in future growth of the market.

The report states that revenue from big data in APAC will likely exceed $15 billion by 2022. More specifically, the Chinese market is predicted to be the market leader in the APAC region, followed by Australia.


Companies recognising the business value of analytics

Many businesses are now fully aware of how critical data analytics is in supporting companies making decisions and this realisation of the potential is driving further demand for this technology. Data from a recent SAS survey suggests that over 70% of respondents believed analytics provided valuable insights and a further 60% believed that data analytics enabled their business to continue innovating.

Many of these businesses do, however, encounter certain challenges, in particular relating to data that isn’t commonly used in a business. A study from Exasol explored companies within the UK and Germany and discovered that over 80% of respondents were unable to confirm the location of vital data. A further 55% also confirmed that data fragmentation across various locations was making it more difficult to extract all the relevant information.

Understanding big data analytics requires businesses to invest in specific resources that will ensure they meet their goal. Utilising the data in the most effective way will support the progression of the big data analytics market and at the same time tackle some of the risks connected to ‘dark data’, including security and compliance with data privacy regulations.

Furthermore, data related careers are becoming more attractive and companies are more willing to hire data professionals. The growing interest is data jobs is increasing the overall market value. Some businesses are already starting to benefit from people looking to pursue data related careers. For example, the leading budget airline, EasyJet announced a three-fold surge in the number of data science employees, with further plans to hire another 30 data scientists. According to their chief data officer, the added focus on data analytics will enable the business to control the damage that some factors can have on the airline. Big data allows Easy Jet to forecast certain changes that can influence business performance.

IoT systems are producing colossal amounts of data

IoT technology is used by many people today and this involves devices send and collecting huge amounts of data. According to a recent study, the total data produced from IoT devices will exceed 500 zettabytes each year by the end of 2019.  Many businesses are now utilising data from IoT devices to understand things that weren’t possible without connected devices. Many businesses that use IoT devices are not necessarily utilising the opportunities available from the collected data. The increase in IoT devices and the data provided will support further market success in the future. As businesses continue to explore innovative ways to use their data or look to employ data professionals, the market will continue to prosper.

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Leading EPM business Host Analytics to be acquired by Vector Capital

January 15, 2019

Host Analytics, a leading provider of cloud-based EPM solutions has confirmed an agreement to be acquired by a major private equity firm, Vector Capital.

The business focuses on transformational investments across technology companies. Within the agreement, StarVest Partners, the biggest shareholder in Host Analytics will remain a major investor in the business.

Dave Kellogg, the chief executive of Host Analytics explained to media that they are very excited to be collaborating with Vector Capital and enhancing their potential growth within the continued expanding EPM market. Kellogg emphasises that Vector Capital offers a range of financial and operational resources, along with an expert team that offers an experienced track record and an innovative plan to progress the business further forward.

David Fishman, the managing director at Vector Capital explains that Host Analytics provides a combination of innovative products, an experienced and skilled workforce and a range of leading blue-chip customers, providing an ideal platform for future development. Fishman highlights how impressed by the strong business focus of Host Analytics and is impressed by the planned product roadmap.

Stephen Goodman, the vice president at Vector Capital stated that they believe Host Analytics is ideally positioned to gain from the range of opportunities within the cloud EPM marketplace. Goodman explains how excited they are to invest in Host Analytics to deliver new organic market opportunities and via new acquisitions.

Vector will provide the financial transaction from Vector Capital V, a fund valued at $1.4 billion raised in 2017 to invest specifically in technology companies within the software, internet, digital media and communications. Host Analytics will continue to maintain its main headquarters in California and will continue to offer leading EPM services to its customers worldwide.

Ray Wang, principal analyst and founder of Constellation Research explains that customers expect leading EPM businesses to offer new product innovation and growth. According to Wang, this acquisition will enable Host Analytics to acquire other vendors and continued to develop their capabilities for existing and new customers.

The proposed acquisition is due to close within the next few weeks, subject to confirmation from regulatory authorities. The overall agreement has already been approved by the Host Analytics board of directors.

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Positive Plans for Vena Solutions

January 15, 2019

Vena Solution has recently announced it has raised $115 million in funding managed by the business JMI Equity.

Its current investor, Centana Growth Partners was also a participant in the latest funding round, reinvesting again after managing the previous funding round in 2016.

This is one of the four major events in the industry over the last few months. Anaplan went through the process of an IPO. Adaptive Insights was then purchased by Workday and Host Analytics was bought by Vector Capital.

JMI Equity has gained experience in the industry after prior investment plans in Adaptive Insights. Industry sources suggest that investments typically range from $15 million up to $125 million. It is believed the actual investment figure made by JMI Equity was in the region of $80 million.

Peter Arrowsmith, the general partner at JMI Equity explained that the business will select companies to invest in with proven business models and a clear opportunity to enhance further growth. Arrowsmith emphasised that Vena Solutions ticked all the boxes, explaining that their customers aren’t just satisfied with the service but are passionate about the company products and the solutions it offers within the finance market. Arrowsmith states that they are very much looking forward to collaborating with the Vena team to further expand the business and its associated growth opportunities.

Where will the investment go?

Media news suggests the investment will be support accelerated growth and the scaling of operations globally. At present, Vena has its headquarters in Canada, with additional offices in New York, London and Alkmaar (the Netherlands). It is predicted this list of offices will expand as it plans to expand its portfolio of sales and services offices worldwide.

Don Mal, the CEO is believed to be interested in expanding the number of channel partners linked with Vena Solutions. With Adaptive Insight now part of Workday, there are equal opportunities for Vena to improve its partnerships with other ERP organisations. Vena will be exhibiting at SuiteWorld later this year but is not currently listed as the main sponsor. This type of investment, however, could be something that Mal considers for 2019. Vena has created a strong relationship with FinancialForce and is predicted to expand its focus at Community Live this year.

Business success in Canada

Mal explains that Vena has shown its value to many satisfied customers by offering an easy to use software, that is equally quick to adopt an essential for implementing timely and informed business choices. Vena is part of a small collection of Canadian technology businesses with the customers, products and worldwide potential to attract investment in excess of $100 million.

The main challenge for Vena Solutions is to ensure the business can expand worldwide. This will require establishing hubs within additional countries, which can lead to other challenges for the leadership team and CEO. There are discussions about whether Mal will continue to manage the business in the long term or seek a new replacement.

Enterprise Times

Vena Solutions has delivered an accessible and powerful software service to support finance processes. This is proven by the added confidence of Centana reinvesting in the business. Eric Byunn, a partner at Centana Growth explains that Centana initially invested in Vena because of its innovative product goals – essentially creating a financial analytical platform that is both powerful and simple for anyone in a business to use, whether this is for finance, compliance or business activities. Byunn explains that today they are proud to be doubling down on the business after experiencing how much value their goals have been. Vena has established more customers and created a stronger team, making it a popular choice in the business software market.

Mal is likely to look to empower the leadership team further as the company continues to expand. The business now has an equity partner that has successfully pushed 19 companies through IPO’s. There is the potential that Vena Solutions could be number 20.

Mal carefully selected their funding partner and explained that it was a selective decision in finding someone that is a perfect fit for the culture of the business and shares similar ideas in how to lead the business. Mal explains that their next step is to really scale the business and lead the market with expanded growth, and with the support of JMI, this is definitely possible. The question is now which destination will Vena Solution be selecting?

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