Birst, ParAccel team to put a pretty face on big data

In a meeting of analytics minds, Birst and ParAccel are teaming up to put Birst’s graphical reporting gloss atop ParAccel’s database.

This deal is just the latest evidence that while collecting big data is important, the ability to put that data into formats that make sense to business users is equally critical.

ParAccel builds a fast columnar database specifically designed to analyze lots and lots of information. In that arena, it competes with Vertica, Greenplum, Netezza and Aster Data, once-independent companies that were all acquired in the past two years by Hewlett-Packard (s hpq), EMC (s emc), IBM (s IBM), and Teradata (s TDC) respectively.

Birst CEO Brad Peters maintains that the Birst/ParAccel technology duo will compete with high-end solutions like those and SAP’s HANA analytics appliance at a fraction of the cost.

Target uses include customer service call centers or big telco billing applications, he said.  “This is for any jobs where you have a really high volume of interactions that can generate hundreds of millions or billions of data points,” that need to be sorted out, classified and visualized, he said.

The partnership means Birst will use ParAccel technology as part of its solution, and make Birst available to ParAccel customers. A ParAccel spokeswoman said the two companies have done a lot of integration work, that ParAccel is using Birst internally, she said.

ParAccel also partners with MicroStrategy(s mstr), but MicroStrategy’s technology suits more complex enterprise rollouts that take time to sell and implement while Birst’s SaaS capability suits it for quicker, easier sales cycles.

Birst, which offers its business analytics both in an on-premises appliance and as software-as-a-service, competes with Pentaho, an open-source analytics provider and Jaspersoft, both of which also work with ParAccel databases.

It makes sense for database companies to partner with analytics players but given the amount of consolidation that’s already gone on in these worlds, it’s probably just a matter of time before some of these smaller analytics companies join the ranks of the acquired.