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Analytics News & Analysis

Salesforce Arms Apttus with $41M

When it comes to venture investments, Salesforce backs its allies. Case in point: The San Francisco-based cloud software company today led a $41 million investment round for Apttus, which makes Quote-to-Cash software on the Salesforce1 platform.

The latest investment followed first-round funding of $37 million in September 2013 that Salesforce led. K1 Capital and Iconiq Capital also invested in both rounds.

What Data Crunchers Say About the Super Bowl

The big game is on Sunday and we know who’s going to win. OK, no we don’t, but Microsoft’s Cortana thinks she does and she has a pretty good track record. If you remember, she called every single elimination match of last year’s World Cup, including the final, correctly. That’s right, she was 15/15.

But before we let Cortana spoil the fun for you data junkies out there, Dash Davidson, Tableau’s Sports Data Analyst, has shared some interactive viz’s with us which you can use to impress everyone and/or make your own predictions. They’re preloaded with data from Pro-Football-Reference.

The Salesforce Wave Rolls Past Its First 100 Days

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When Salesforce announced its Wave analytics platform with a splash at Dreamforce, it wasn't even available. Critics said it cost too much or that even after two years of development, it was too little too late.

Some analysts, like Boris Evelson at Forrester Research, praised it for its "seamless integration" and agile NoSQL DBMS. "But," he added in his blog, "while we feel that Wave is a cool product for specific use cases ... there's lot of room for improvement before Wave can take its place among general purpose large enterprise BI platforms."

"The UI is there, but can it really leverage big data? Does it matter?," asked CMSWire writer Virginia Backaitis. She quoted several industry sources who offered mixed reviews.

Smaato Promises Mobile Publishers More Control, More Money

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Smaato, a company that offers advertising tools for mobile publishers and developers, just launched the Smaato Publisher Platform (SPX), an ad server for mobile publishers.

The San Francisco-based company claims it will help publishers and developers monetize their apps and maximize their mobile advertising fill rates and the effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPMs).

With more than a million apps on the market and new ones constantly arriving, the ad industry "needs a platform that thinks mobile first,” said Ajitpal Pannu, Chief Business Officer at Smaato. “This mindset requires that these content creators take better control of their monetization abilities."

Smaato operates a mobile real time bidding (RTB) ad exchange and Sell Side Platform across 80,000 mobile app developers and mobile publishers. It also globally connects more than ad networks and 240 demand-side platforms on the demand side.

SPX, built for the supply side, is a "first step towards building integrated mobile monetization platform,” he said.

Q1 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (28-Jan-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: Live SharePoint Video

Join CMSWire and RAMP on Feb 3rd for a one-hour webinar to learn more about how enterprise video is going live.

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Big Data Skills Shortage? Not on MapR's (Pre-IPO) Watch

One of the biggest obstacles to the adoption of Hadoop in the enterprise is the shortage of professionals trained to work with it. According to job posting aggregator Indeed.com, there’s been as much as a 225,000 percent growth in demand for the big data crushing skill since 2009 — and no one is schooling engineers at that rate.

Learning Hadoop, until recently, has been something that passionate, self-directed computer engineers did alone, at leading edge technology-oriented schools like Stanford or as part of the Apache Hadoop community. Some chose a slightly easier way, by paying for training from individual distro vendors like Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR or a few third-party providers.

While it’s not impossible to find “free,” self-paced training  online, most of it is delivered via a freemium model and doesn’t cover the material broadly or deeply enough to pass certification exams. That kind of training often costs hundreds or thousands.

Up until today, that is. This morning big data software and Hadoop distro provider MapR announced free Hadoop On-Demand Training for developers, analysts and administrators that meets certification requirements.

Microsoft's Play to Rule Analytics' 3rd Wave

One billion Excel users may not sleep tonight. It won’t be a problem that keeps them awake, but a new toy. And, get this -- it’s free.

Today Microsoft introduces a new Power BI -- a service that helps users bring data in, wring value out and visualize the results. It’s geared toward line of business users, not data geeks, and may be pivotal in helping enterprises usher in a “data culture.”

Some may see this new data culture as Microsoft’s birthright (sort of) given that 1 billion workers use Excel today and that analytics is a natural progression. But Microsoft certainly isn’t taking anything for granted. “We’re lowering the barriers to entry by removing the friction and greasing the gears,” said James Phillips, general manager, data experiences at Microsoft. 

Insite Software: Data Analysis for 'People with Day Jobs'

Insite Software is releasing technology today that's designed for executives too busy to bury themselves in e-commerce data.

InsiteAnalytics will help the busy executives deliver key insights through big-picture strategic trends and more transactional micro analysis, said Phil Schrader, product manager of data commerce for Minneapolis, Minn.-based Insite Software. 

"InsiteAnalytics produces what we call 'data insights for people with day jobs,' eliminating the pain and complexity of data analysis and enabling organizations to quickly and easily actualize the value of their data," he continued. 

Emotion + Analytics = Speaking Your Customer's Language

2015-22-January-Laughing-Eyes.jpgIn a recent interview with Jeannette Ho, vice president of revenue management and analytics at FRHI Hotels and Resorts, she spoke about using analytics to quantify guests’ emotions, with the goal of understanding motivations for traveling. FRHI’s aims for an ideal of turning “moments” into “memories” when guests are staying with them -- a great way to create a truly delightful customer experience.

But the question is how do you keep that customer experience healthy even when a customer isn't on property?

Q1 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (21-Jan-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: Security and Compliance in the Cloud

Join CMSWire and M-Files with Doculabs tomorrow for a one-hour webinar to better protect your information in the cloud and ensure compliance.

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Optimizely Claims 'Breakthrough' in Online Testing Platform

Optimizely, a website optimization platform, just released what company execs describe as an innovative capability that breaks from traditional statistical methods. 

The platform -- Stats Engine -- adds to the company’s experience optimization platform by delivering test results that are "always valid" and "freed from the limitations of traditional statistical analysis," officials at the San Francisco-based provider boasted. Pete Koomen, co-founder of Optimizely, said Stats Engine "represents a breakthrough in the world of online testing."

Developed in collaboration with statisticians at Stanford University, company officials said Stats Engine relies on innovative approaches in statistical analysis. Combined with the company's own algorithms, it allows customers to interpret and act on data quicker "and more confidently than ever before," the company noted.

Stats Engine "propels statistical analysis into the Internet age," a company spokesperson told CMSWire.

Signs on the Road to Digital Analytics Maturity

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There's a danger when we turn to competitive analysis to compare progress against others in the same industry. If you're in an industry where digital transformation is slow in coming, or digital analytics are considered "new," you'll never have an example to follow because everyone's trending at the same slow speed. We've already seen how competitive analysis can act as a distraction when coming up with digital strategies. So when we took the first pass at the data from the EY Digital Analytics Benchmarking Survey, we kept this idea in mind.

The Emotional Value of Data: 5 Critical Actions to Take

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Emotional consumption has recently been identified as one of the social trends shaping how we live and work – now and in the future.

“The shift to emotional consumption has huge implications for employers and marketers,” wrote Marc Emmer in a LinkedIn post. Emmer is a strategic planning consultant and author of the book, Intended Consequences.

“In a time when we are blitzed with thousands of messages daily on multiple devices, people have a hunger for an emotional connection. Watch for shifts in marketing messaging to greater emphasis on empathy and community.”

Revenue Marketing: Creating Sales and Marketing Alignment

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The art of contacting and connecting with customers and prospects has become infinitely more sophisticated and effective through the buyer’s journey. We can thank advances in marketing automation, big data, predictive and behavioral analytics for this new level of sophistication.

No Data Butler? Alteryx's Newest Release Can Help

Let’s face it. Most line of business users don’t have a data scientist at their beck and call or even a geek from IT for that matter. So when a marketing manager or finance executive needs to make a decision in short order, he often has to do so based on a small fraction of the available information, go with his gut or miss the opportunity.

“It can take days, weeks or months before IT can provide it,” said Bob Laurent, director of product marketing at Alteryx, a data blending and data analytics platform.

That’s a problem because we live in an increasingly real time world.

That same world, mind you, is rich and overflowing with data — mobile, social, transactional, analytical, Internet of Things … we could go on. And it’s not just that, but today’s consumers don’t respond well to marketers (or anyone else) who misfires. They expect personalization and for the other party to be well informed.

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