[caption id="attachment_5719" align="aligncenter" width="531"] Pentaho's Mobile BI offers visualization and analysis on Apple's iPad.[/caption] The U.S. presidential election might be drowning out any and all news that doesn’t involve ballot boxes, but that’s not stopping a few software firms from announcing some big upgrades to their platforms. Pentaho, for example, is rolling out an “instant” Big Data discovery feature as part of the next version of its main analytics platform, Pentaho Business Analytics 4.8. Known as Instaview, it will give businesses the ability to quickly analyze and visualize data in Hadoop, MongoDB, Cassandra and HBase. For Pentaho, competing amidst a growing crowd of analytics vendors, offering a speedy analytics and visualization package could keep clients in its corner; however, more and more rivals also producing “quick” data-analysis software. Pentaho is also getting into the mobile-analytics game with Pentaho Mobile BI, which adapts the company’s business-analytics platform to the iPad. As with many other examples of data-analytics software for tablets, the focus here is on customizable dashboards, visualization, and speedy analysis. Pentaho claims that its mobile application is “the only mobile BI with the unique capability to create new ad hoc analysis from the iPad,” a statement that seems to depend heavily on how one defines “ad hoc analysis.” Numerous other companies offer analytics on tablets such as the iPad: Oracle used this year’s Oracle Open World (OOW) conference, for example, to show off a new release of Oracle Business Intelligence (BI) adapted for tablets, while companies ranging from SAP and Roambi to Salesforce also offer different flavors of handheld analytics. When it comes to “real time” or “instant” analysis, the terms involved also deserve a little bit more clarification, particularly when it comes to frameworks such as Hadoop. “It’s when you sit and wait for it to finish, as opposed to going for a cup of coffee or even letting it run overnight,” Doug Cutting, who co-wrote the Hadoop framework, said in a recent interview with SlashBI. “That’s ‘real time.’” Nonetheless, it’s inarguable that analytics capabilities are becoming faster and more mobile, buoyed by more powerful hardware and a proliferation of handheld devices within companies. Pentaho has taken its next big steps in that direction—but its opponents are doing the same.   Image: Pentaho