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October 26, 2015

Oracle Adds Visualization Service to Analytics Push

George Leopold

Oracle rolled out a new cloud-based data visualization service this week as it and other analytics vendors seek to drive data science deeper into organizations.

The database giant (NYSE:ORCL) said Monday (Oct. 26) during a company event in San Francisco that its data visualization cloud service would expand enterprise access to big data while reducing the need for IT resources. The cloud-based tool is part of a growing trend among data analytics vendors as they target the enterprise market with easier-to-use analytics tools that allow quick access and blending of enterprise and big data.

Data visualization is among the most effective technologies for boosting enterprise utilization of analytics. Oracle claimed that delivering data visualization services via private or public cloud would help make visualization “100 percent self-service,” eliminating the need for IT and data science backup.

As cloud services are increasingly used to deliver business applications like data analytics, companies like Oracle are hoping it can convince new customers they can justify the cost of these new tools by speeding return on investment.

Oracle is positioning the new data visualization service as eliminating much of the complexity associated with combining and correlating huge datasets. It stressed an “automatic data blending” capability that merges data from Oracle and other software-as-a-service applications, on-premise databases, external sources like social media and other files. Data visualizations prepare and present the combined data to users who don’t have to be data scientists to interpret it.

The company said internal adoption and usage patterns of the largest customers for its Business Intelligence Cloud Service show the growing popularity of easy-to-use data visualizations, or what the company calls “visual data stories.” The upshot, Hari Sankar, Oracle’s group vice president for business analytics, claimed in a statement was “fact-based decisions at every level of an organization.”

Along with “visual stories,” the company also promoted a “smart patterns” capability that translates data into visualizations that are contextual, including the highlighting of data as a way to relate it to everything else on a screen full of data.

The visualization service also is designed to be compatible with Oracle’ other analytics offerings running on-premise or in the cloud. That approach appears to further Oracle’s strategy of developing a comprehensive big data stack targeting a range of emerging use cases.

For example, Skanska (STO: SKA-B), the Swedish construction company, is among the earliest customers for the cloud-based data visualization service, Oracle said.

The new service is the latest software addition to Oracle’s big data portfolio as it defends its dominant position in the relational database market against open source technologies like Hadoop and NoSQL.

Declaring that the “data gravity is moving to the cloud,” Oracle rolled out its Business Intelligence Cloud Service in September 2014.

Oracles new data visualization cloud service including 50 GB of storage is available now and is priced at $150 a month per “named” user. The service has a five-user minimum.

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