Hey biz types: You don't grok Big Data. But you can use Salesforce, right?

Wave to provide salesmonkey-friendly front end for Hadoop

Having sidled into the cash-rich analytics party seven months back, Salesforce is now out and proud on the hype-heavy big data field.

The CRM-as-a-Service provider on Thursday announced Salesforce Wave for Big Data.

It also announced that the big-data trio Google, Cloudera and Hortonworks plus Informatica - plus analytics startups Trifacta and New Relic - had all signed up as analytics cloud partners.

Technical details are light, but the implication is you can use Salesforce’s Wave to suck in and display data crunched by Google, Cloudera and Hortonworks.

Wave uses Salesforce’s proprietary Analytic Query Language (SAQL), currently in pilot.

By adding plug-ins to frameworks used to process big data, Salesforce reckons suits can now discover correlations and patterns across any form of data – structured and, in the case of big data, unstructured.

Cloudera and Hortonworks will hope that signing up to Salesforce will give greater impetus to their missions to make Hadoop more useful to business.

Despite the hype surrounding it, Hadoop has been challenged trying to justify itself in regular business settings. Part of that has stemmed from the complexity of setting up Hadoop and lack of query tools friendly enough for ordinary end users.

Announcing the platform and partners, Salesforce said the value of big data largely remains out of reach for sales, service, marketing and other business professionals.

Salesforce Wave for Big Data is based on the Wave Analytics Cloud. The Wave Analytics Cloud, itself, is a smartphone and graphics friendly system to filter, view and drill data and was unveiled by Salesforce in October 2014. Wave is Salesforce’s sixth platform, coming after sales, service, marketing, community and mobile-applications.

The company’s push into analytics came after it hired Business Objects veteran Keith Bigelow from SAP in 2012 to serve as Salesforce.com’s general manager and senior vice president of analytics cloud. ®

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