(Updated with analyst comments 12:46 p.m. ET)

March 3, 2011 – Teradata Corporation announced today that it plans to acquire analytics and data management provider Aster Data for $263 million.

Signaling a bigger footprint in the unstructured data and analytics market, Teradata says the deal will add depth to its data warehouse information portfolio from capabilities with Aster Data’s massively parallel, in-database analytics and emerging graph analysis. Aster Data's high performance database and analytics have been strong performers in an area the industry increasingly refers to as "big data." 

Dave Kasabian, founder of Pervasive Performance Group, says that Aster Data covers Teradata’s big data needs, and will put more of a market spotlight on Aster Data’s offerings. He says the proposed deal also furthers the recent trend of big money put toward unstructured data.

“You could make the case that traditional business intelligence is becoming somewhat commoditized, but big data and predictive analytics are not, so vendors are focusing heavily on tapping into these markets,” Kasabian says.

Teradata already owns an 11 percent stake in Aster Data, which it acquired last year. Mike Koehler, president and chief executive officer of Teradata, said in a news release that buying the remaining portion of Aster Data would provide a big data “opportunity” and, along with its recent $535 million deal to buy Aprimo, build his company toward the future.

David White, Aberdeen senior research analyst for BI, says his research shows enterprises’ need for near real-time analytics has doubled since 2008. However, he says rapid analytics has not been the strongest suit in Teradata’s portfolio. With Aster Data crunching information on the back end and integrated marketing management from Aprimo, Teradata has capabilities for wider reaching warehouse platforms, White says.

“You have Aprimo doing the management of the marketing processes on the front end and then you have this tremendous ability to gather essentially real-time data from Aster Data and to analyze it rapidly,” says White.

Mayank Bawa, Aster Data chief customer officer and co-founder, said in a news release: “We are bringing a new class of data-driven applications that leverage the power of the patent-pending SQL-MapReduce analytics and innovations related to non-relational data processing delivered with flexible and easy to use tools.” 

Richard Winter, president of consultancy WinterCorp, says prospects for Teradata look “excellent” from afar, though there is much integration and marketing ground work ahead. Winter says it has been Aster Data’s method of attacking large data requirements – including its integration with Hadoop’s MapReduce – that made the company stand out from the group of growing analytics providers of the last few years.

As far as rapid analytics providers, the field of notable independents is dwindling after Teradata’s proposal and HP’s previous offer for Vertica. White says the pressure on big vendors to provide fast analysis of voluminous amounts of data has brought lots of attention to providers like ParAccel and Kognitio.

“Well, we’ve seen two of the more famous names acquired in a matter of weeks, so I wouldn’t say this is the last we’re going to see of consolidation in this space,” he says.

Along with this acquisition, Teradata will obtain $21 million that Aster Data is expected to have on hand at the deal’s close. In a release, Teradata stated that it would support California-based Aster Data’s existing workforce and customer base. The deal is subject to customary approvals.

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