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Bi News & Analysis

How Big Data Projects Are Different

2014-16-October-Chess-Moves.jpgHow is big data strategy different from any other technology-related strategy? There’s definite overlap with other IT strategies, including the need to be aligned with business strategy, to have strong sponsorship, to address specific business problems, and to have decision making mechanisms for resource allocation and ongoing capability development -- that is, good governance processes.

The key difference lies in what makes Big Data unique -- the implications of the classic 3 v’s of Big Data -- the volume, velocity and variety.

Big Data as a Disrupter - Thinking About Big Data Strategically

2014-15-October-Roller-Coaster.jpgAfter riding the roller coaster of hype, Big Data disillusionment has been setting in, driven in part by the inherent fuzziness of exactly what the term means, but also because the term by itself is really descriptive of just a bunch of bits, rather than tangible business benefits. So I’ll try to put some gloss back on big data by putting it in the context of business strategy, which, after all, is the context that matters to the senior executives who have the financial wherewithal to really make big things happen with big data.

Real Bedfellows? Salesforce, Office 365, OneDrive & Power BI #DF14

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff knew the conversation would be special, so on the opening day of Dreamforce, Salesforce’s user conference in San Francisco this week, he brought Microsoft Windows Vice President Tony Prophet on stage for a fireside chat.

After some genuine, inspirational, heart-to-heart talk about their mutual charitable work at Benioff’s Children’s Hospital at University of California San Francisco (UCSF), among other things, Benioff dropped his jaw.

"A year ago at Dreamforce we would not have thought Microsoft would have been here, on stage,” he said. “It's a shock."

And to him it certainly seemed to be, and for good reason. But are things always what they seem? 

How Big Data - and Critical Thinking - Lead to Business Value

2014-13-October-Magnified-Image.jpgThere is irony behind a discussion of the business value and metrics related to big data analytics, since a lot of people in the business world still don’t understand much about big data, including those who think they have a handle on it. Business analysts, IT, Marketing, Business Intelligence, Data Scientists, Upper Management -- each of these roles can have a meaningful stake in big data analytics -- and it’s likely that each role has a different idea about the impact it can have.

Benioff Spills Beans Early: Salesforce Intros Analytics Cloud #DF14

Apparently Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff couldn’t resist. Almost 12 hours before the embargo was scheduled to lift, he announced, via Twitter, that his company is launching Salesforce Analytics Cloud, Wave. 

He clearly wanted the most enthusiastic of his 123,000 followers to check it out in the App Store, and to give reporters a heads-up that he, himself, was breaking the embargo.

The launch of Salesforce’s sixth cloud wasn’t actually a secret, anyways. Benioff had leaked that it was coming, again via Twitter, last month.

Why Alteryx Won a Whopping $60M in New Funding

Data is the currency of today’s business world, when it’s leveraged to the hilt it can separate winners from losers when all else is equal. And even when it’s not.

We’re moving into a new world in which how a company uses its information may impact the bottom line as much as the product itself.

The folks at data-blending and analytics startup Alteryx know this, so they’ve built data blending and predictive analytics tools to help their customers leverage their data to a hilt. And you won’t have to be a data scientist or a know-it-all to blow someone like Mad Money’s Jim Kramer away. Alteryx democratizes big data.

Connecticut Judge Gives Gartner More Time to Answer Lawsuit

Don't expect a quick resolution of the lawsuit that pits NetScout Systems against the Gartner Group. Just yesterday, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Charles T. Lee approved the request of Gartner attorneys to extend the deadline to respond.

The decision pushes the deadline for Gartner to respond to Oct. 20 — and pushes the deadline for Netscout to respond to Dec. 22.

In a motion for extension of time to plead, Gartner attorneys Frederick Gold, Andrew Zeitlin and Diane Polletta explain they need additional time to respond to "undertake appropriate factual and legal analysis" and prepare an appropriate response. Netscout attorneys Michael Blanchard and Jason Frank did not object, as long as their client received a reciprocal extension.

Are Analytics Firms Undervalued? TIBCO Sells at a Premium

Stop the presses -- or at least the rumors. We now know who will buy middleware analytics provider Tibco: Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm.

At $4.3 billion, it is the largest tech buyout this year.

And worried Tibco shareholders who have seen their investments slide by as much as 23 percent in the past year, should be relieved to cut their losses a bit. In the last week the stock was trading as high as $20 per share. Vista is paying $24.
 

The Accidental Analyst

2014-15-September-Double-Vision.jpgIt’s no secret that the use of data analysis as a means to improve decision making is increasingly becoming a requirement for companies that want to remain competitive and employees that want to remain relevant. With that in mind, let's take a look at your most popular, most overworked and quite possibly, most important co-worker -- the accidental analyst.

Beating the Spreadsheet Blues

Remember the old days when it seemed that all you need to know from your computer is how to save a Microsoft Excel file? If you are a marketer those days seem rosy compared to what’s happening in digital media. 

New ways of capturing data has introduced challenges in inspecting data and developing models.  Marketers with a limited knowledge of traditional query language must access data. And as I wrote in the post, How Marketers Can Get A Better Handle On Their Data, new markup language elements raises the number of ways data can be associated with web and app elements.  This has increased the ways the data can be used in calculations for desired results.

Because of this new data challenge, analytic solution providers have created a number of options to simplify data usage.

Alteryx and Tableau Redefine Analytics #data14

Yesterday’s BI tools just don’t cut it. In today’s world the margin of time between data and decision needs to be instantaneous, or as close to that as we can get. The longer it takes to process information and glean insight from it, the more you can lose.

Data can do more than help companies win sales. It can also save lives.

But it can only do this effectively if a data scientist or data analyst can process all of the information, gather all of the necessary data and make it useful, or present it to decision makers visually so that a viz can speak for the data, tell the story and make decision making easier.

Is Tableau a Canvas for Innovation? #data14

2014-10-September-Tableau.jpgUnleash creativity and the world will never be the same.

The words could belong to Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Pablo Picasso -- but they were coined by the CEO of Tableau, a fast growing software company. It trades on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol DATA.

Addressing a sold out audience at Tableau’s user conference being held in Seattle this week, CEO Christian Chabot proclaimed that the next wave of computing will be less about automating the routine and more about discovering and leveraging “the tremendous creative potential of our minds.”

Key Drivers of Analytics Success

2014-03-September-Jackpot-Winner.jpgOrganizations have hit the jackpot of data. With unprecedented visibility into every type of data, organizations across every vertical -- be it healthcare, retail, manufacturing or finance -- are turning to analytics to make well-informed decisions and bring value to their bottom lines.

Gartner Names 7 'Hype Cycle' Technologies

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Driving your organization down the road to digital business? If you are, Gartner has identified seven emerging and established technologies that may help assure a smoother journey.

The recently published 2014 Gartner Hype Cycle Special Report identifies them as: Internet of Things and operational technologies, mobile infrastructure, enterprise mobility management (EMM), analytics, big data, social and cloud. But don’t get too hooked on these goodies, because there are more technologies just starting to emerge.

The report is the result of an evolution of over 2000 technologies, services and trends in 119 different areas over the past year.

Why BI's Late Movers are Big Data's Early Adopters

Big Data, 2014-12-August-Leading-the-Band.jpgThe explosion in popularity of new business intelligence platforms and data warehouse technologies throughout the 1990s was well documented. But while companies in a broad range of industries including financial services, high-tech and retail were quick to embrace the newfound ability to analyze past business performance, most universities, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies remained quietly on the sidelines.

Two decades later, another major wave of technological innovation is sweeping over the IT landscape in the form of modern big data analytics solutions. Only this time, the script has been flipped.

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