Teradata continues big data buying spree, scoops up Think Big Analytics

The acquisition gives Teradata's consulting arm an injection of Hadoop and NoSQL know-how

Teradata has made its third acquisition of a company specializing in big data within about a month, with the latest deal involving consulting firm Think Big Analytics

The addition of Think Big will boost Teradata's consulting arm, which already counts some 5,000 workers, with a team of engineers, architects and data scientists schooled in multiple Hadoop distributions, NoSQL databases and open-source projects associated with Hadoop, such as Hive and Spark.

Roughly four years old, Think Big has now worked on enough projects that it's been able to build reusable assets, said Chris Twogood, Teradata vice president of product and services marketing.

Teradata closed the Think Big acquisition on Friday, paying an undisclosed sum. The company has about 100 workers, said Think Big co-founder and president Rick Farnell, who will be joining Teradata in a similar role.

Think Big's branding will be kept, Twogood said. "We want to maintain that brand and scale it."

Beyond the skill set of Think Big's staff, Teradata was also attracted to its operational model. Think Big consultants travel to customer sites, where they work with internal teams to generate project ideas.

But the heavy lifting when it comes to coding is done at Think Big's Salt Lake City facility. This setup means shorter flights for visiting customers, who are primarily in the U.S. right now, Farnell said.

Think Big uses an agile development methodology, creating project iterations over six-week cycles. This length of time provides a sweet spot, according to Farnell. "It's more than a month, so you can do something substantive," he said. "But it's shorter than a quarter. That's important because then the business executives that are paying for the innovation can see something [within a quarter]."

For now, Teradata will limit Think Big's business to the Americas but intends to expand internationally. Part of this will be accomplished by sending Teradata consultants to study at Think Big's internal academy, Twogood said.

The deal follows Teradata's July purchase of assets from Revelytix and Hadapt. Revelytix developed a metadata management framework for Hadoop, while Hadapt offered tools that allow programmers familiar with SQL to apply the widely used language to Hadoop.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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