Kafka KSQL is NOT SQL. Here’s a better way to implement Kafka Analytics

Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium

A new and better way: self-service analytics for Kafka

A better solution helps provide real-time visibility into Kafka events to business users in minutes. You simply connect Kafka topics to the a new kind of in-memory database engine that we call TIBCO Data Streams, open a table in Spotfire and go.

To business users, Kafka topics look like a database, but updates are continuously live: when any data on Kafka changes the result set in the query, the new data is pushed to the business users, and visualizations are continually kept up-to-date.

And Spotfire continuously compares current data with history. For example, in the dashboard below, data streaming from a Formula One car is displayed on a course map at top left. The current speed, brake temperature, lap pace and distance traveled is compared to the best historical performance. A race analyst can constantly see how the now compares to the past, and make adjustment accordingly.

Real-time data compared with historical data: red means we’re behind our best lap, green means we’re ahead.

The Spotfire client was redesigned several years ago to accept push-based updates from the Data Streams engine. There’s no evidence that any other BI tool available can perform such a feat, and we don’t support ksqlDB.

The democratization of Kafka

Why has streaming business intelligence drawn such ire from Confluent? My guess is this: for years, Confluent has held customers captive. I’ve met CIOs that pay over $15 million a year “open source” support. Yet even Kafka fans admit that they spend as much as 50% of their effort on analytics.

Spotfire delivers a solution that business users need at a fraction of the cost and it empowers business users instead of shutting them out. And yes, in addition to analytics, TIBCO provides enterprise-class support for Kafka and other open source messaging like MQTT and Pulsar.

We hope the Kafka community celebrates the democratization of Kafka analytics because it helps make Kafka’s impact bigger and better. And indeed, that rising tide should lift all boats.

For more, watch this video on Kafka Analytics or visit www.tibco.com/kafka to explore TIBCO’s commercial offerings. Or, if you’re a business person, watch this on the use cases for Kafka analytics. For information about related technologies and innovation, read Why you should learn about streaming data science and How to query the future.