Trifacta brings data wrangling to the masses with free desktop tool

Its flagship product for Hadoop is now called Trifacta Wrangler Enterprise

Trifacta has already made a name for itself with its data-preparation software for the world of big data, but on Monday it set its sights on a broader audience with a free new tool for the desktop.

Called Trifacta Wrangler, the software aims to put self-service data wrangling within reach for any professional who works with data in Excel or visual analysis tools such as Tableau. Tapping Trifacta's research in machine learning, data visualization, human-computer interaction and distributed processing, it's designed to give users of all skill levels the ability to discover, structure, clean, enrich, validate and publish their data for analysis using a connected desktop application.

With the release of Trifacta Wrangler, Trifacta's flagship, Hadoop-focused product has been renamed Trifacta Wrangler Enterprise.

“While Trifacta’s enterprise product was built from the ground up to be optimized for Hadoop, with Trifacta Wrangler, we are addressing the tremendous inbound interest in using Trifacta outside of the big data ecosystem,” said Jeffrey Heer, the company's cofounder and chief experience officer.

Desktop users need only have a Mac or Windows computer and an Internet connection in order to download, install and deploy Trifacta Wrangler. The software's hybrid architecture lets users process data locally without ever sending it to Trifacta. Software updates, meanwhile, are pushed to the user in cloud-hosted fashion without requiring complicated upgrades, the company said.

Data preparation is one of the top challenges in analytics today, said Nik Rouda, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

"Unfortunately, data is messy, so we all have to go through this preparation step -- it's a universal need," he said. "If you're not looking at the right data organized in the right way, you're not going to get the right answers."

There are plenty of other companies in this space trying to serve a similar need, but "Trifacta has gone really far in making it easy," Rouda added. "It helps you wrangle without having to be a Ph.D. data scientist or a 20-year veteran in business analytics."

Trifacta Wrangler for the desktop is now available as a free download.

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