Analytics, meet visuals. Business intelligence provider Pentaho has bought consulting partner Webdetails, a Portugal-based visual interface development shop.

The acquisition could point to new user interface approaches for intelligence products, as analytics tools move from providing information to becoming easier and faster to use.

Terms of the deal were not announced. Webdetails’ founder Pedro Alves, who is active in Pentaho’s open source community, will become Senior VP for Community at Pentaho. Alves wrote on his blog this week that the daily work for Webdetails 20-person staff “won’t change much,” except for the additional tag of “A Pentaho company.”

Open Source Products

The Orlando, Florida-based Pentaho offers open source business intelligence products that provide data discovery, data integration and predictive analytics, as enterprise and community versions. The products are available on-premises, in the cloud or embedded into applications.

Webdetails' screens.png
Webdetails-created screens

On its website, Pentaho notes “massive, disruptive changes” that it says are transforming analytics. These drivers include the growth of Big Data, the adoption of cloud computing, and the growing expectations arising from the consumerization of IT. The acquisition of Webdetails can be seen as Pentaho’s attempt to bring inside the resources needed to move data-bursting, everywhere-available business analytics toward the ease-of-use expectations that employees increasingly have.

Improving User Experience

Pentaho EVP and COO Doug Johnson said in a statement that “everything about Webdetails perfectly complements our operations as we continue to scale to meet demand fueled by the big data revolution.” He added that Webdetails’ high-end visualization expertise will help to roll out “exceptional visualizations” from Big Data and other data sources.

The analytics company said that it intends to utilize Webdetails to accelerate its R&D plans for improving the user experience of its platform and integration tools, including the range of dashboard visualizations, improving ease-of-use for its Instaview visual development tool, and creating interfaces intended to support novice users.

Webdetails work for Pentaho has included designing plug-ins, such as the Community Tools series that help to manage dashboards and reports. Other Webdetails efforts included work for the Pentaho Marketplace on github, for sharing plug-ins.