EarningsESI Group is on a roll, announcing two acquisitions in less than a week. Today, the company said it is acquiring the assets of Picviz Labs, which creates data-mining and cyber-security technologies. Picviz Inspector enables users to examine large, complex datasets while other Picviz products detect attacks and pore over logs to detect fraudulent activity.

Why is this interesting to ESI? For scientific data visualization. If we think about it, the tools to do CAE-style optimizations have been around for over 10 years; optimization is taking off now because response surfaces and output plot visualizations help summarize complex analyses and turn them into decision-making tools. ESI wants to take that type of visualization into other domains. ESI expects the world of connected everything  (instrumented factories, for example) to create reams of data that will need to be analyzed to detect operational issues. Picviz Labs’ data visualization tools can integrate and analyze this type of data to find potential problems.

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Picviz is tiny –founded in 2010 and currently consisting of 5 employees– but has already closed some big, blue chip client in Europe like BNP PARIBAS, La Poste, BULL (ATOS) and Thales on big data analyses for cyber-security applications. Even with distributors, Picviz lacked the mass to get to more industrial companies (and those outside of France, its home base). Picviz will help ESI gain traction for its virtual prototyping offering outside its automotive and aerospace base, while ESI will be able to introduce big data technology into that base.

Indeed, ESI says it plans to leverage the Picviz technology to develop solutions for customers whose end-products contain embedded electronic systems and robots. The company says that it foresees massive improvements in production in predictive maintenance, quality-assurance, component-replacement planning or supply chain management and logistics through the use of big-data analytics and visualizations.

ESI CEO Alain de Rouvray in prepared remarks called Picviz Labs’ technology “a remarkable and exceptionally clever innovation which strengthens operational intelligence by visually identifying important and hidden issues.”

Details of the acquisition were not announced. The Picviz team will join ESI even though this is called an asset acquisition.

Image courtesy of the Picviz Labs blog, http://picviz.blogspot.com/.