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Tableau Adds MapR Support for Hadoop-Powered Analytics

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Posted August 10, 2012 By Pedro Hernandez     Feedback

Business intelligence specialist Tableau expands its data source support by embracing MapR's Hadoop distribution.

Business intelligence software maker Tableau is broadening its reach in Big Data analytics with a newly-announced version of its namesake software.

Tableau now offers features MapR support, giving the analytics platform direct access to data on MapR's enterprise-grade Hadoop distribution. According to the two companies, the connector opens new doors for organizations employing MapR Technologies to manage their unstructured data and glean insights from it.

"MapR's advanced distribution for Apache Hadoop combined with Tableau's visual analytics will help businesses across industries gain insights from their big data," said Alan Geary, senior director of business development for MapR Technologies in a press statement. "MapR is used by some of the world’s most reputable companies who will now be able to visualize and analyze complex, unstructured data in new ways."

In version 7.0.7, those new ways include graphically-rich data visualizations, dashboards and instant reports -- all of which are achievable without coders, says Tableau. The company claims that creating visualizations for its Tableau Desktop product is so intuitive that "any Excel user can learn it."

Why support MapR at all? In a company blog post, Ted Wasserman, a member of Tableau's product management team, explains his company's customers are increasingly seeking out enterprise features for their Big Data platforms, and MapR fit the bill.

Flexibility was a prime requirement, says Wasserman. "For example, the MapR storage services layer supports the Hadoop FileSystem API and the NFS interfaces, allowing a customer to choose the distributed filesystem that best meets their needs."

A hardy and resilient Big Data platform were also top considerations. "Some of the high availability features were also appealing. For example, snapshots enable point-in-time recovery, while mirroring makes data protection more robust," writes Wasserman.

It's not Tableau's first brush with Hadoop-based solutions. Wasserman mentions, "If you’ve been following Tableau’s activity in this space, you’ll recall that we made a significant investment in Hadoop last year with a connector for Cloudera’s CDH distribution."

MapR, too, has been making Big Data inroads of its own. The company recently teamed with Nimbula, a cloud platform software provider, to enable Big Data workloads on private cloud infrastructures.

Tableau 7.0.7 is available now.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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