Intel has launched the Intel Data Platform, featuring a portfolio of analytics tools for data scientists. The chipmaker is positioning the platform as ideal for companies with lots of data to mine for insight, especially if those companies already use Intel’s Distribution for Apache Hadoop. Features include streaming data processing, interactive and iterative analytics, and (via an Analytics Toolkit) graph analytics and predictive modeling. In theory, the combination of Hadoop and these tools will allow companies to merge multiple streams of data from various sources, including social networks and inventory, and surface insights from the collective datasets. Intel will offer the platform in two editions, Enterprise and Premium, with plans to make the former a free service to customers; the Premium will operate on a subscription basis and feature additional tools such as boosted automation and proactive security fixes. It’s also casting a wide net by claiming the software is useful for a variety of firms, from retailers to telecoms; but then again, pretty much every IT vendor claims its analytics software is vital for the continued survival of all industries everywhere. The Data Platform seems a natural sequel to Intel’s Hadoop distribution, which it launched in February 2013 and claimed was built “from the silicon up” to access and crunch massive datasets at superior speeds—provided the client paired the distribution with Intel’s hardware, of course. Considering Hadoop’s growing popularity among businesses large and small—the open-source framework, which specializes in running data applications on large hardware clusters, is a particular favorite among firms such as IBM with a lot of backend infrastructure and data to manage—it seems inevitable that a big tech vendor like Intel would jump into that particular arena. But not all companies have a need for Hadoop, or the ability to use it well; by releasing the Data Platform as an accompaniment to its distribution, Intel can expand its reach into the burgeoning analytics market. The question now is whether the Intel brand is strong enough to make this portfolio stand out despite hordes of aggressive competitors.   Image: Pressmaster/