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Bi News & Analysis

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. 

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.

CMSWire Top Contributors 2014 - Joanna Schloss

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If you're interested in topics like big data analytics, business intelligence, business analytics and data warehousing, then you have a friend in Joanna Schloss. In her role as subject matter expert in the Dell Center of Excellence, Joanna helps clients deal with the challenges of data and information management, including such things as managing multiple platforms, applications systems and analytic environments. We're fortunate to have her share her expertise on CMSWire, where she regularly engages our readers with her thought-provoking posts.

A Look Back: Battling Information Management Chaos

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If ‘X’ represents the mass of information in your enterprise, it also represents the size of the problem that you currently have with information management. In other words, the more information you have in your enterprise, the bigger your problem. And odds are it has gotten worse in the past 12 months.

That's not to say that there hasn't been a flurry of new technologies available to help you deal with this information overload. In the big data space alone, the explosion in the number of solutions available is staggering. It's even more mind blowing if you add in all those that have emerged in content management, analytics, business intelligence, cloud storage, mobile and so forth.

What's Next for Big Data? Predictions for 2015

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Some people believe it takes two full years for students to fully understand and master new concepts. The first year in the cycle, when a new concept is introduced, is considered a learning year. The following year is considered a growth and review year.

The thinking holds that while students technically learn about new concepts during the first year, it’s not until the second year that they can truly begin applying them in an active manner, one that displays measurable growth and development.

In many ways, the landscape of big data at the close of 2014 can be described in similar terms.

Generally speaking, 2014 was a learning year. IT decision makers across all verticals realized they could no longer ignore the changing landscape brought on by growth in the volume, velocity and variety of data. Investments were made and infrastructure was overhauled. After many years of pomp and circumstance, 2014 was the year big data finally become the infrastructure of reality.

Hortonworks IPO: Why It Has to Happen Tomorrow

2014-11-December-Wall-Street.jpgYou can bet that the folks at Hortonworks’ won’t sleep much tonight, instead they’ll likely be replaying and rethinking every move they’ve made as a private company and every aspect of their strategy. As the youngest of the three primary, independent, commercial Hadoop distribution providers, they’ve gone from saying that they wouldn’t be talking about an IPO anytime soon, to suggesting that it might happen in 2015, to secretly filing in August, to unveiling the filing last month, to setting the date for the actual offering -- it’s tomorrow.

What’s the sudden hurry?

As Gartner analyst Merv Adrian puts it, “There might not be a better time.”

And, at least in the near term, he may have a point. Unless it’s possible to go back in time, that is.

IBM Patents Make Data Centers Smart Enough to Handle IoT

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IBM has patented two techniques that use analytics to improve cloud performance and efficiency in the data center. These patents probably won’t be put into practical use for at least a few years, but their development is noteworthy. Essentially, they are part of IBM's plan to stay on top of data center performance demands and needs as the Internet of Things gets into full swing.

Keeping Up with Evolving Business Processes

Thumbnail image for 2014-08-December-OfficeBeverlyGoodwin.jpgAbout a dozen years ago, many companies adopted rolling budgets as a way to update their financial outlook constantly instead of waiting for the end of the quarter or year. Essentially, they viewed each new month as the start of a new year, allowing them to adjust to the future based on trends of the recent past.

Ah, the good old days. Today things move much faster, not just with budget planning but with virtually every business process in almost every large company.

John Burton, CEO of Nintex, argues that this evolution in business processes stems largely from the explosion in unstructured data that allows teams of employees to react to new data, the needs of mobile workers, price changes, social media or other factors that come into play.

CMSWire asked him to share his point of view from the helm of a company that creates workflows for about 5,000 clients.

Making Existing Big Data Investments Work For You

2014-18-November-Unisphere.jpgCIOs and CMOs have stopped talking about big data and data analytics as something they're exploring or planning on looking into in the near future. Analysts and experts rarely, if ever, call big data the "next big thing" any more. Does all this mean big data is over? Just the opposite.

Big data has finally arrived and is quickly maturing. IT leaders are now shifting from thinking about the possibility of making investments in big data platforms to thinking about how to get more out of the investments they’ve already made.

What's Trending in Digital Analytics

2014-17-November-Blackboard-Analysis.jpgDuring a walk up Camelback Mountain in Phoenix one recent morning with my colleague Joe Kamenar, Steve Harris, senior director web analytics, web digital group at Capital One and David Millrod, founder of visualization platform Insight Rocket, we talked about data integration. We talked about analytics staffing. We talked about multichannel attribution models. We talked about “huddles.” Huddles? These practitioner-led discussion groups are the heart of XChange, the digital analytics conference we were attending. Now in its eighth year, XChange huddles reflect what’s on the mind of digital analytics program leaders who work at both global and national brand organizations.

Gartner Tries to Protect Its Magic Quadrants

Gartner really doesn't want to lift the veil of secrecy surrounding its Magic Quadrant (MQ) reports.

The research firm is challenging many of NetScout's requests for information about its business practices, processes and internal review procedures involving the MQ reports. Calling the information confidential, proprietary and tantamount to trade secrets, Gartner filed the objections in connection with a lawsuit in Connecticut Superior Court.

Update: The case is scheduled to go to trial in February 2016.

IBM or Twitter: Who Needed the Deal More?

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IBM posted disappointing quarterly revenues last month. Twitter hasn't found a way to make good money.

They needed a boost, and they hope it's each other.

But who needed who more?

"That’s arguable. Both need to can some lightning," said Tony Baer, principal analyst at Ovum Research.

"For Twitter it's the need for another path to market where they don’t have to compete with the Facebook colossus head-on. For IBM, this is entirely consistent with directions such as Watson where it is striving to establish cognitive computing as the new de facto enterprise solutions building block."

How Big Data Can Make You a Better Marketer

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Big data is everywhere these days. Among other things, it's created some big expectations for marketing — especially when it comes to mining information. And while it may have the potential to change the game when it comes to data driven marketing, the reality is that it has yet to fully deliver due to a myriad of marketing methodologies clogging the funnel.

What does this mean?

Let’s back up for a minute. Before we can tap the results of big data, we need to examine the perspectives that are used to fill the funnel — growth and sales — and think about some of the fundamental shifts that are taking place. Then we’ll more clearly understand how big data fits in.

IBM's Tencent Deal Could Best Twitter Partnership

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IBM announced today that it has partnered with the Chinese Internet Services Provider (ISP) Tencent Holdings — a deal that has the potential to be a lot more lucrative than its recently announced partnership with Twitter.

IBM is trumpeting this one as a major step into the Chinese market that it has been targeting for a long time. What's really interesting is that the agreement between the two is for the provision of public cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions in China. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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