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Analytics News & Analysis

You, Too, Can Be A Data Scientist, Courtesy of Airbnb

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No, Airbnb won’t be providing you with a bunch of clean data sets and algorithms when you arrive at your destination. But the rental lodging site is doing something that will delight analysts a whole lot more.

Today it announced that it is open sourcing Airpal, an internally developed web-based query execution tool that leverages Facebook's PrestoDB to facilitate data analysis.

It puts data scientist-like powers into more hands, and that’s not just talk. One-third of Airbnb employees have issued a query using the tool.

Listen Up CMOs: Don't Make These 5 Mistakes with Mobile

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Mobile provides a golden opportunity for companies to forge genuine connections with customers.

According to Pew Research Center, 90 percent of American adults own a cell phone, and many of those people are attached to their device. Sixty-seven percent of cell phone users check their phone for messages and alerts even when they don’t hear a ring or notification, and 29 percent say their cell phones are something “they can’t imagine living without.”

Devising an effective mobile strategy that capitalizes on this phenomena requires balancing data-driven insights with creativity and technologies. Together, these can create a transformative customer experience.

Why You Should Care About Docker's Latest Addition: SocketPlane

At some point soon, you and your colleagues will likely wonder whether you need to make a fundamental change to your IT infrastructure ... at least if you want your organization to be effective and remain competitive.  

You might think you’ve already had that discussion, but you’ll have it again soon. And thanks to news that broke yesterday, “soon” just became “sooner.”

There was an acquisition in the technology space Wednesday morning which, if you were standing in the room where it happened, you might not think was all that important: Docker, an open platform for distributed applications, acquired a startup made up of developers who had recently worked with firms such as Red Hat. The firm is called SocketPlane.

New Salesforce Tool Can Help You Get Personal With 1M People

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Big data presents a big challenge for marketers: How can you personalize your email, mobile and web messages when you're reaching out to a million potential customers — or 10 million?

It's hard to get personal in a crowd like that.

Several marketing technology vendors have tackled that challenge. But it's hard to create a tool with real time customer profile updates that marketers can use without the help from a data scientist or someone from the IT staff.

IBM Buys Denver Startup, Wants to Make Its Supercomputer Even Smarter

IBM has acquired AlchemyAPI, a Denver startup that boasts it makes sense of the world's unstructured data. The company, a pioneer in artificial intelligence-based (AI) text analysis, offers a cloud platform that helps companies analyze text, images and video.

IBM said the buy will give its Watson Group access to machine learning technology. It will also give IBM access to a much bigger, ready-made user base — some 40,000 developers who are already using the AlchemyAPI platform.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But the purchase is in line with IBM's objective to make its Watson technology more profitable. Watson, a supercomputer, can sift huge amounts of data, learn from the results and respond to spoken questions. 

AlchemyAPI will be used to build cognitive apps, which learn as they interact with people and enhance IBM's objective of creating more human-like computing services.

Gartner's Look at Advanced Analytics Vendors: Are You Using a Winner?

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Hats off to Gartner for resisting the temptation to call Advanced Analytics “Analytics 3.0” because no one knows what that means. Some say that 3.0 suggests “analytics for all," referencing “all” as average workers.

Advanced Analytics, by Gartner's definition, are anything but that, according to the Magic Quadrant for Advanced Analytics Platforms (registration required).

Instead, Gartner defines them as “the analysis of all kinds of data using sophisticated quantitative methods (for example, statistics, descriptive and predictive data mining, simulation and optimization) to produce insights that traditional approaches to business intelligence (BI) — such as query and reporting — are unlikely to discover."

In other words, advanced analytics are the scalpels used by highly trained data scientists.

Q1/Q2 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (04-Mar-15)

Our industry event planner gives you the heads-up on what key industry events are coming around the corner. If we've missed something, don't hesitate to add your event to the list. (You can also view the full calendar here.)

You're Invited: New Use Cases for DAM in the Enterprise

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The IoT is Useless - Unless You Fix Your Data Problems [Infographic]

Research from ParStream shows the vast majority of businesses are struggling to optimize and take useful insights from all the information the Internet of Things (IoT) provides. Not too surprising, since ParStream is a provider of IoT analytics.

But the study nonetheless shines a spotlight on a problem. Almost all organizations (96 percent) still face challenges with their IoT projects. More than two-thirds of those polled do not have quantifiable metrics to assess the success or failure of their projects, and only eight percent are making full use of their IoT data. About 17 percent capture and store IoT data, but do nothing with it.

Digital Disruption's Unglamourous Side: Digital Governance

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Most global enterprises look to digital transformation as the only way to remain competitive. They also view it as an opportunity to increase multi-channel customer engagement while reducing IT infrastructure costs.

But some enterprises are slow to adapt to today’s technological evolution. While the idea of flying cars is a ways off, the idea of implementing cloud applications and big data analytics shouldn’t be just as far-fetched. A number of reasons explain why some still live in the offline ages, one of the bigger ones being lack of understanding. Why fix what isn't broke?

Everything You Really Need to Know About Docker

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A two-year-old technology is at the spearhead of a genuine revolution in data center architectures, for both software and hardware.

With yesterday's release by the Docker organization of open source tools for orchestrating the deployment of containerized applications anywhere from a data center cluster to a single laptop, the very definition of a business application is changing.

Docker is a means for deploying a Linux program (although it won’t be just Linux for long) on any system. That may not seem like too big a deal, when it’s phrased this simply.

So let me put it this way: It eliminates all the dependencies between a program and the operating system of the processor that hosts it.

This way, you don’t have to install a program to run it.

Instead, a containerized program runs within a virtual machine that contains only the resources that the program requires to run, and those resources can be transported anywhere — thus, the docking container analogy.

As CMSWire writer Virginia Backaitis explained so simply a few months ago, "In non-geek speak, [Docker] is an open platform for distributed applications that makes the lives of developers and sysadmins a lot more pleasurable and easier. It takes away the non-value adding drudgery of your job."

Big Data Bits: Strata + Hadoop World Rewind

Last week was huge in the booming world of big data with vendors simultaneously chasing market share and sharing innovations on the big stage at Strata + Hadoop World in San Jose, Calif.

If you have a big data product or service to sell, there may not be a better opportunity. After all, there’s a captive audience that paid big bucks and committed their time to be there. Attendees genuinely want to hear what you have to say. This is why so many vendor announcements are made at, or around, the conference.

Putting forth the best you have to offer while on the big stage, without sounding like an infomercial or slamming the competition seems to challenge some, though. Here’s the secret, strut your best stuff, your grandest vision and your ability to deliver, and the customers you want to win over will see and hear, only you. Knock a competitor, even if you don’t out rightly name them, and there are two of you sharing the spotlight. Is that what you want customers to remember?

Enough said.

Can the Internet of Things Help You Connect to Higher Profits?

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Businesses that  embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) will be up to 10 percent more profitable by 2025, according to a new study from Verizon (registration required).

Before you rush to make new connections, consider the obvious. Verizon has a vested interest in promoting the IoT. In 2014, the company saw a 45 percent year-over-year revenue growth in its own IoT business — which translated to about $585 million of its $88 billion in revenue in 2014.

Still, the research is interesting.

Verizon, using proprietary data and results of commissioned studies from ABI Research, estimates there were 1.2 billion different devices connected to the Internet last year and that the number will rise to 5.4 billion by 2020 for an annual growth rate of 28 percent.

So how can you tap in to boost your bottom line?

New Professional Social Network Sets Its Sights on LinkedIn

LinkedIn gives 347 million professionals a virtual venue where they can interact, share ideas and look for new opportunities. But a new social network called Conspire claims it has something even better: an analytics-based venue where professionals can connect more efficiently.

Conspire boasts that it uses analytics on your email addresses to tell you "exactly how to get the best introduction to whoever you want to meet — a customer, employer or investor.”

Q1/Q2 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (25-Feb-15)

Our industry event planner gives you the heads-up on what key industry events are coming around the corner. If we've missed something, don't hesitate to add your event to the list. (You can also view the full calendar here.)

You're Invited: Lessons from the CMS Trenches

Join CMSWire and Sitecore with Digital Clarity Group on Mar 3rd for a one-hour webinar to find the right CMS for your business, based on research from actual companies with experience.

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Are Hortonworks Numbers Better Than You Think?

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When the analysts pore over Hortonworks financial results this morning, company President Herb Cunitz thinks he knows what they will say. Some will note that the Hadoop distro provider beat the street. But others will say it missed the mark when it comes to revenues, as much of the tech press suggested yesterday.

“The street thought we’d come in at $13.5 million and we brought in $16.7 million,” he said.

So why are articles on the web at the moment suggesting that Hortonworks’ fourth quarter revenues were $12.7 million. Fuzzy math?

Not really. It might just be a difference between  GAAP — the acronym for generally accepted accounting principles — and non-GAAP figures, said Cunitz.

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