There is a lot of activity in the big data sphere: we have seen numerous new technologies and startups, there is some huge investing going on and finally there are hints at moving big data away from the idea that only data specialists can put big data to work. Big data-service providers are more often taking the information and expertise of data scientists and making it accessible through an app. Prior Knowledge is an example of this movement and has developed a way for app developers to add a level of predictive analytics without the need to have deep knowledge of statistical analysis. Another example is Lytics, a service that helps with getting value out of data from multiple sources such as mobile environments, the web, email, social, third-party APIs and commerce environments. Customers use Lytics to optimize pricing and inventory and multiple other aspects of the business that can benefit from data to improve the queries and results. Now Alteryx has opened a big data-analytics apps studio as part of Alteryx 8.0, the analytics provider’s latest release. A number of the apps in the studio are for the retail market, but there are also those that can be used for any business. It also includes an app builder. The intent is to make data analytics as accessible as a consumer application makes its service. One of the apps you can find in the public gallery is the Big Box Retail Analysis: This Analytic App analyzes the networks of three fictitious big box retailers (Box Max, Super Center and Giant Depot). It compares population coverage and competitive position based on a competitive trade area size and a maximum travel distance trade area size.The competitive trade area size is intended for analyzing competition within each retailer network. Although these types of apps are just the beginning of making big data more accessible to people who do not necessarily have a deep knowledge of data science, it is a welcome trend for smaller business. Have you used big data apps already? Or what kind of app would you like to see? Share your thought in the comments.