by Thor Olavsrud

Splunk and Pentaho Bring Business Intelligence to Machine Data

Aug 07, 20133 mins
AnalyticsBig DataBusiness Intelligence

Splunk, a specialist in operational intelligence, and business intelligence platform provider Pentaho have formed an alliance designed to bring Splunk's machine-generated data out from the IT department and make it available to business users.

Splunk, which specializes in collecting and indexing massive volumes of machine-generated data, and open source data integration and data visualization specialist Pentaho are joining forces in an effort to unlock the power of machine-generated data—and data from other sources—for business users.

The idea, says Eddie White, executive vice president of business development for Pentaho, is to allow business intelligence (BI) analysts and other business users to combine machine-generated data from Splunk—data from websites, applications, servers, storage, network, mobile and other devices like system sensors—with data from other data sources like RDBMS, Hadoop, NoSQL and enterprise application data. Business users can then use Pentaho’s advanced data visualization capabilities to visualize the data and gain actionable insights.

“Users can download Pentaho Business Analytics for Splunk Enterprise from Splunkbase to be able to combine Splunk machine data with a variety of other traditional Pentaho data sources,” White says.

“The bi-directional integration lets business users access, explore, analyze and visualize machine data to extract real, actionable information, White says. Our alliance with Splunk will make it much faster and easier for users to manage and gain insight from this highly valuable source of data, combined with other data for context.”

Splunk’s engine collects, indexes and analyzes massive volumes of machine-generated data, whether real-time or historical. Traditional uses for Splunk in the enterprise include improving service and uptime, reducing costs and monitoring cybersecurity.

Pentaho, meanwhile, focuses on the data analytics process, from data integration to interactive data visualization to exploration and predictive analytics. It natively supports Apache Hadoop, Cloudera, MongoDB and high-performance analytic databases like Greenplum and Vertica, as well as other big data sources.

The alliance means joint customers will be able to export machine data from Splunk Enterprise or import data in Splunk software via Pentaho.

For Splunk, White notes, the alliance is an opportunity to extend its platform beyond IT, where it is a popular platform for operational intelligence—monitoring, analyzing and visualizing machine data.

“If you look at it from Splunk’s perspective, they want to get more data onto their platform,” White says. “They want to get outside of IT and bring business users to their platform.”

“As the leading platform for operational intelligence, Splunk Enterprise [lets] for IT and business monitor, analyze and visualize machine data. However, BI analyst teams work with other datasets and visualizations, and that is why our alliance with Pentaho is so important,” adds Eddie Satterly, big data evangelist at Splunk.

“We are excited to collaborate with Pentaho to enable business users to gain new insights from exploding volumes of machine-generated data alongside other structured data sources, Satterly says. This integration gives BI analysts new business insights from new data sources in a familiar interface to deliver greater value to the enterprise.”

Thor Olavsrud covers IT Security, Big Data, Open Source, Microsoft Tools and Servers for Follow Thor on Twitter @ThorOlavsrud. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn. Email Thor at