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Kinetica opens Melbourne office, bullish on data analytics

Analytics startup is bullish about the Australian market as more organisations leverage GPU-based platforms to support real-time analytics

Analytics startup Kinetica has opened a Melbourne office as it prospects for Australian customers for its active analytics platform.

The platform was developed initially for the US military to analyse incoming intelligence from more than 200 data sources in near real time and identify potential threats, before being spun out to form Kinetica.

Headed by CEO Paul Appleby, an Australian who has lived in Silicon Valley for the past 19 years, Kinetica will focus initially on opportunities in the local telecommunications, financial services, retail and public sectors.

These are the sectors that need the “speed layer” of data analytics more pressingly, according to Appleby, who was in Australia for the opening of the Melbourne office.

Despite some impressive international customers such as Citigroup, which uses Kinetica for dynamic risk management, as well as Indonesia’s Telkomsel for customer support and 5G optimisation, the company has yet to make it into Gartner’s analytics magic quadrant.

But Appleby is unconcerned, saying that as a relative newcomer, the firm has yet to meet some of the thresholds required by Gartner.

He is bullish about the company’s prospects in Australia, and while there are just three people in the Melbourne office today, he hopes to grow that rapidly to 10-20 people. Kinetica has a team of 26 in Asia-Pacific.

The technology that Kinetica sells speeds up the gathering of insights from data using graphics processing units (GPUs). Appleby said use cases include 5G network optimisation, money laundering and fraud detection in financial services and real-time dynamic supply chain management.

A recent report by Carl Olofson, research vice-president for data management software at technology analyst firm IDC, advised organisations to consider a GPU-accelerated offering when choosing a data platform to support real-time analytics on a large scale, complex historical data analytics and the handling of data used to train machine learning systems.

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While Kinetica fits the bill, Olofson noted that the company also faces competition from other suppliers and predicted that other tech firms will use the same playbook and leverage GPU-based processing to drive real-time analytics.

Appleby said Kinetica currently faces competition from Oracle, SAP Hana and Teradata, although the company often partners with these suppliers to supply the analytics layer on top of existing data estates. It also brings together historical data analytics, streaming data analytics, location intelligence and machine learning-powered predictive analytics. ​

The demand for such services will rise, said Appleby, because “there is growing understanding in the private and public sectors that data should be treated as an asset class”.

He said active analytics would allow data to be exploited to maximum advantage, especially in emerging fields such as autonomous vehicles, internet of things (IoT) networks and wearables, by ensuring that data could be interpreted and acted on in near real time.

According to a data readiness index developed by IDC, Australian firms are among the most advanced in the Asia-Pacific region in making data central to their business through the widespread use of analytics.

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