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October 22, 2020

Tibco Buys Data Pioneer Information Builders

Roughly a year-and-a-half after Information Builder Inc. founder Gerald Cohen stepped down as CEO, the privately-held business intelligence vendor has been acquired by Tibco Software Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

In announcing the deal on Thursday (Oct. 22), Tibco said it expects the transaction to close during the first quarter of 2021. It noted the acquisition must still gain regulatory approval.

The purchase of the data pioneer founded in 1975 gives Tibco another set of data management and analytics tools the company said would augment its flagship Connected Intelligence platform.

“With the acquisition of [Information Builders], we gain access to a broader set of analytics and technology, greatly enhancing our ability to help the world’s leading organizations solve their most complex data problems,” said Tibco CEO Dan Streetman.

The buyer, based in Palo Alto, Calif., also said Information Builders’ portfolio of data preparation and integration tools would support its data hub and “application mesh” strategies. The combination of Tibco’s hyperconverged analytics framework and Information Builders’ WebFocus analytics platform is another synergy, Tibco said.

The acquisition, among several this week, underscores the continuing consolidation of the analytics and business intelligence sectors. Tibco acquired real-time analytics vendor SnappyData last year, combining its business intelligence platform with the startup’s analytics data fabric.

SnappyData was spun out of Pivotal in 2015 to pursue platform development, combining the data manipulation capabilities of Apache Spark and Spark Streaming, the in-memory persistence of the GemFire data grid and an approximate query processing method that helps manage large datasets so they can be readily queried.

Tibco’s latest acquisition is unique in the sense that Information Builders helped define the business intelligence market over the last several decades.

“We founded Information Builders with a vision of a new business intelligence product that would enable non-programmers to build their own reporting applications,” noted Cohen, Information Builders’ board chairman.

Information Builders’ portfolio also includes data governance tools as part of its suite. The software helps customers track data provenance, answering questions like why data was collected in the first place and how and where is it being used. Those parameters are used to determine whether and how data can be used.

Those data governance tools are in high demand as vendors like Tibco seek to flesh out their enterprise data platforms with features that can help customers organize and analyze data, then apply predictive analytics tools.

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