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March 3, 2017

HPE, Tamr Strengthen Data Ties

George Leopold

(Bruce Rolff/Shutterstock)

Several weeks after winning U.S. patent protection for its data preparation platform, Tamr Inc. announced a deal with Hewlett Packard Enterprise to resell its data unification software.

The reseller deal certifies that Tamr’s technology has been validated for interoperability with HPE systems as part of its third-party software and hardware offerings. It also raises the visibility of the startup’s platform given the breadth of HPE’s sales channel.

Hewlett Packard Pathfinder was an early investor in Tamr, which was spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies’ Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in 2014. The startup, based in Cambridge, Mass., raised more than $25 million in a Series B funding round in June 2015.

HPE also has been using Tamr’s data unification software internally. Whereas most data platforms struggle as more data is added, HPE said it found that the startup’s application of machine learning improved overall performance as more data was added. “We have always had the data,” explained Iana Dankova, HPE’s business analytics manager. “It was a matter of being able to prepare it fast enough at scale for analysis.”

The startup’s data prep platform combines machine learning and human expertise to automate the unification of large numbers of data sets. The approach is promoted as reducing the time and cost associated with producing unified data sets.

Tamr seeks to differentiate itself from a growing number of data prep specialists who apply rules to combine a limited number of data sources. By contrast, Tamr said its patented approach combines machine-learning techniques with human experts. That, the startup asserts, allows it to scour data for correlations and duplications in hundreds of source files.

Tamr and other data prep specialists that include Paxata and Trifacta are focusing on data unification tools that would free data scientists from janitorial work that takes up as much as 70 percent of their time. Market watcher Gartner predicted last year that the self-service data preparation software market would reach $1 billion by 2019, and that the current adoption rate of 5 percent would grow to 10 percent by 2020.

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