BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, BIG DATA MANAGEMENT
Accenture | November 15, 2022
Accenture is to acquire Japanese data science company ALBERT Inc. (President and CEO: Tokyo Stock Exchange Growth Market, Securities Code: 3906), after completing a tender offer. The acquisition will add a large team of data scientists to Accenture to further strengthen its data and AI capabilities for clients.
The tender offer was launched on September 29 and closed on November 14. The number of ALBERT's common shares and stock acquisition rights tendered to Accenture significantly exceeds the threshold required for ALBERT to become part of Accenture, equal to two thirds of the ALBERT stock. Upon completion of the transaction, ALBERT will be part of Accenture. Accenture expects to purchase all remaining shares and stock acquisition rights in the coming months, after which ALBERT will be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
ALBERT offers AI and big data analytics services, AI-based algorithm development, AI implementation consulting, and data science training support, primarily to major corporations in Japan. The company was founded in 2005 and was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2015. Its data science team of 250 permanent employees and contractors will join Accenture’s Applied Intelligence practice, which provides AI and data-led transformation solutions and services.
ALBERT will strengthen Accenture’s ability globally to help its clients manage the total reinvention of their enterprises, which most successful companies will undergo in the next decade. Technology, data and AI will transform every part of their business, enabling new ways of working and engaging with customers, business models and growth opportunities.
The acquisition will be Accenture’s latest step to further strengthen its services in Japan that use data to digitally replicate the entire enterprise and to help Japanese companies grow and become more competitive with deep data analytics and AI expertise. Accenture has launched several solutions for data-driven management in Japan recently, for example, to forecast various business scenarios and propose actions to improve the forecasts, and to support clients’ ESG (environment, society, and corporate governance) practices.
Atsushi Egawa, who leads Accenture’s business in Japan, said, “Companies today need a 360-degree view on their business to make better and faster decisions. They must look beyond the financials and include, for example, sustainability initiatives, customer experiences, and people development and retraining. Gaining this holistic perspective and being able to simulate every aspect of the business requires deep data science expertise and AI capabilities. Accenture and ALBERT’s team will bring these to clients to help them succeed in their total enterprise reinvention.”
“ALBERT’s philosophy is to connect the world with data science and co-create new value for a better future. As leading companies across industries are investing heavily in AI, we’re seeing growing demand for the technologies and skills that are the core of our business. By joining Accenture, which excels at addressing its clients' most complex opportunities and issues, our team can drive even more value for clients and accelerate the implementation of AI in society.”
Takeshi Matsumoto, President, and CEO of ALBERT
ALBERT will follow other acquisitions Accenture has made to strengthen its data and AI capabilities for clients globally. These include Analytics8 in Australia; Sentelis in France; Bridgei2i and Byte Prophecy in India; Pragsis Bidoop in Spain; Mudano in the UK; and Clarity Insights, End-to-End Analytics and Core Compete in the US.
Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries, we offer Strategy and Consulting, Technology and Operations services and Accenture Song — all powered by the world’s largest network of Advanced Technology and Intelligent Operations centers. Our 721,000 people deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity every day, serving clients in more than 120 countries. We embrace the power of change to create value and shared success for our clients, people, shareholders, partners and communities.
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, BIG DATA MANAGEMENT
Alation | November 29, 2022
Alation Inc., the leader in enterprise data intelligence, today announced the launch of Alation Connected Sheets, a new product stemming from the company’s acquisition of Kloud.io. Alation Connected Sheets enables business users to pull trusted, governed, and up-to-date data from data sources into spreadsheets, including Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel1, via Alation Data Catalog.
Spreadsheets are foundational for business decision-making across every industry. According to IDC2, there are 78 million advanced spreadsheet users worldwide. While both static in nature and disconnected from data sources, spreadsheets remain the preferred tool for business users; however, 90% contain errors. Data within spreadsheets is often copied-and-pasted from one spreadsheet to another or downloaded into CSV files via untraceable data sources. Without the proper management and effective data governance of spreadsheets, organizations suffer from significant productivity losses and expose themselves to increased risk because critical business decisions are based on inaccurate and ungoverned data.
Alation Connected Sheets solves this problem by meeting business users where they are: spreadsheets, including Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel. Now, business users across the enterprise can easily find, understand, and use trusted data from spreadsheets with confidence. Alation Connected Sheets increases business user productivity by enabling them to find, filter, import, and refresh data without having to learn a new tool or querying language. Alation Connected Sheets is available immediately as an add-on in Google Sheets, and for Microsoft Excel in early 2023.
Key benefits of Alation Connected Sheets:
Brings trust and governance to spreadsheets: By integrating with Alation Data Catalog, unique governance features such as TrustFlags signal if data is endorsed, warned, or deprecated, helping users pull in the best and most appropriate data, directly from the source.
Effortless setup, use, and maintenance: With a simple user interface and easy-to-use filters, data can be imported and automatically refreshed without relying on technical resources like data engineers or analysts.
Risk mitigation: By leveraging existing security credentials, only authorized users can pull in and use live, compliant, and trustworthy data in a spreadsheet.
“As it stands, business spreadsheets are often created using copy/paste functions or downloading static data that doesn’t sync with source data,” said David Menninger, SVP & Research Director, Ventana Research. “It's one of the most pervasive data governance challenges organizations face that significantly deteriorates productivity at scale. Without a traceable data lineage, multiple iterations of the same project are created using different formulas, data sources, and deprecated or low-quality data. Alation Connected Sheets helps solve this problem. Now, spreadsheet users can quickly retrieve governed data from a single source with confidence in the data they’re using – all natively within the spreadsheet.”
“Harnessing the power of an organization’s data to drive fast, accurate business decisions is challenging for any employee,” said Raj Gossain, Chief Product Officer, Alation. “Business users routinely rely on the simplicity, power, and ubiquity of spreadsheets to do their jobs. But the data that powers spreadsheets is typically copied from other sheets or downloaded into CSV files, creating real risk for every business. Alation Connected Sheets combines the power of trusted, governed data with the ease of use of the spreadsheet. Now spreadsheets can be a trusted enterprise data asset instead of an invisible liability, empowering every business user with the best data the enterprise has to offer.”
“Alation Connected Sheets will allow us to work natively in a familiar spreadsheet environment while connecting to the catalog and enabling spreadsheet governance. “Now, we can manage the countless spreadsheets we rely on to make critical business decisions, govern our spreadsheets, and limit regulatory compliance risk of exposing private information. Alation Connected Sheets will make our advanced spreadsheet users more productive because they can self-serve trusted data without being blocked by limited data engineering resources. Data teams will now be able to focus on complex analyses that drive the business forward; time otherwise spent pulling and verifying fresh data or tracing lineage.”
Sara Cook, Director of Data Science and CMC Statistics, Novavax
As the result of Alation’s second acquisition, Kloud.io CEO and co-founder Krishna Bhat and CTO and co-founder Sathish Raju have joined the company.
“We created this technology to make it easy for anyone in an enterprise to pull data from other sources into a spreadsheet, without needing the deep technical understanding of underlying databases or data lakes,” said Krishna Bhat, Senior Director of Product Management, Alation.
“Alation Connected Sheets is the result of a synergy between the technology that connects spreadsheets to source applications and Alation’s market-leading data intelligence platform,” said Sathish Raju, Senior Director of Engineering, Alation.
Alation is the leader in enterprise data intelligence solutions, including data search & discovery, data governance, data stewardship, analytics, and digital transformation. Alation’s initial offering dominates the data catalog market. Thanks to its powerful Behavioral Analysis Engine, inbuilt collaboration capabilities, and open interfaces, Alation combines machine learning with human insight to successfully tackle even the most demanding challenges in data and metadata management. Nearly 450 enterprises drive data culture, improve decision-making, and realize business outcomes with Alation, including AbbVie, Allianz Global Investors, American Family Insurance, Autozone, Cisco, Draft Kings, Exelon, Fifth Third Bank, Finnair, General Mills, Munich Re, NASDAQ, Parexel, Pfizer, Salesforce, Virgin Australia, and Vistaprint. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Alation has been named to Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces list three times, is a 2022 UK’s Best Workplaces™ for Women, and recognized as a 2022 UK’s Best Workplaces™ in Tech. The company is backed by leading venture capitalists, including Blackstone, Costanoa, Databricks Ventures, Data Collective, Dell Technologies Capital, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Icon, ISAI Cap, Riverwood Capital, Salesforce Ventures, Sanabil Investments, Sapphire, Snowflake Ventures, Thoma Bravo, and Union Grove.
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, BIG DATA MANAGEMENT
Neo4j | November 09, 2022
Neo4j®, the leader in graph technology, announced today the general availability of Neo4j 5, the next-generation cloud-ready graph database. Neo4j 5 widens the performance lead of native graphs over traditional databases while providing easier scale-out and scale-up across any deployment, whether on-premises, in the cloud, hybrid, or multi cloud. The result empowers organizations to more quickly create and deploy intelligent applications at large scale and achieve greater value from their data.
"Graph technology adoption is accelerating as organizations seek better ways to leverage connections in data to solve complex problems at scale," said Emil Eifrem, CEO and Co-founder of Neo4j. "We designed Neo4j 5 to deliver the type of scalability, agility, and performance that enable organizations to push the envelope on what's possible for their data and their business."
Neo4j 5's specific benefits include:
Query language improvements and up to 1000x faster query performance. New syntax makes it even easier to write complex pattern-matching queries. Improvements in indexes, query planning, and runtime make Neo4j 5 the fastest implementation ever. For example, multi-hop queries can now be executed up to 1000x faster than Neo4j 4. These improvements are above and beyond the already exponentially faster Neo4j's graph results over traditional databases. Together, these benefits enable more real-time results at scale.
Automated scale-out across hundreds of machines, enabling self-managed customers to grow and handle a massive number of queries with little manual effort and significantly less infrastructure cost. This benefit is achieved via new and enhanced features like Autonomous Clustering and Fabric, enabling organizations to efficiently operate very large graphs and scale out in any environment. Neo4j 5 also automates the allocation and reassignment of computing resources.
Continuous updates across all deployments, whether in the cloud, multi-cloud, hybrid, or on-prem. Neo4j 5 ensures ongoing compatibility between self-managed and Aura workloads managed by Neo4j. In addition, a new tool called Neo4j Ops Manager provides a unified single pane for easy monitoring and management of global deployments, giving customers full control over their environments.
Neo4j 5 performance lead sets a new industry bar
More than 1,300 organizations trust Neo4j's technology to power mission-critical applications while maintaining performance, security, and data integrity. Neo4j 5 extends the company's leadership even further at a time when graph adoption is exploding.
"Switching to Neo4j was a huge win for us," said David Fox, Senior Software Engineer at Adobe and Co-founder & Engineering Lead at devRant. "We've seen significant performance improvements, and a great reduction in complexity, storage, and infrastructure costs. Staff now focus on improving the infrastructure, versus spending time frustratingly micro-managing it."
For more information
To learn more about Neo4j 5, visit the Neo4j 5 web page, read "Scale New Heights with Neo4j 5 Graph Database," or register for the following sessions at the upcoming online developer conference NODES 2022: "What's New in Neo4j 5 and Aura 5 for Developers" and "Introducing Neo4j 5 for Administrators."
Neo4j is the world's leading graph data platform. We help organizations – including Comcast, ICIJ, NASA, UBS, and Volvo Cars – capture the rich context of the real world that exists in their data to solve challenges of any size and scale. Our customers transform their industries by curbing financial fraud and cybercrime, optimizing global networks, accelerating breakthrough research, and providing better recommendations. Neo4j delivers real-time transaction processing, advanced AI/ML, intuitive data visualization, and more.
BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, BIG DATA MANAGEMENT
EY | December 13, 2022
The EY organization today announces an alliance between Databricks, a data lakehouse company, and Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) to help organizations simplify and democratize data, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). Combining the knowledge, business insights and consulting capabilities of EY data scientists with Databricks' Lakehouse Platform, the alliance will help enable massive-scale data engineering, machine learning (ML) and business analytics for organizations across nearly every industry.
Databricks has become a cornerstone for companies looking to put data at the center of their business strategy by pioneering the data lakehouse category and providing advanced technologies that analyze and transform complex data sets into insights and solutions. The Databricks Lakehouse Platform brings together the best qualities of data warehouses and data lakes to help organizations accelerate innovation through critical data-driven use cases — from data warehousing and data streaming to data science and ML — on an open unified platform.
As a long-time consumer of Databricks, EY US has seen first-hand the platform's immense value, having implemented it for a number of internal use cases. One notable example, the EY organization's proprietary solution, Trusted Data Fabric, is underpinned by Databricks. Together, the technology embeds trust to reduce the risk of data misuse, providing a platform for secure and ethical use of intelligence-enriched assets.
Greg Sarafin, EY Global Partner Ecosystem Leader
Entering into an alliance with Databricks strengthens our ability to address the needs of clients seeking to gain significant business benefits from their data, whether for operational efficiency, stakeholder experiences, risk mitigation or creating entirely new sources of revenue. EY teams offer the breadth of services necessary to turn data insights at scale into enterprise value, enabled by Databricks' Lakehouse and the extraordinary AI and ML capabilities of that platform.
Kori O'Brien, SVP, Global Consulting & SI Partners at Databricks
"We are thrilled to welcome EY US to the Databricks partner ecosystem to help data-driven organizations adopt the Lakehouse Platform and deliver more value to their businesses with data, analytics and AI. We look forward to continuing to innovate with EY teams and provide new capabilities, services and tailored industry solutions for our joint customers to unlock the power of their data with a lakehouse."
EY exists to build a better working world, helping to create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets.
Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate.