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Bi News & Analysis

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.

IBM, Twitter in 'Landmark' Enterprise Analytics Deal #IBMandTwitter

2014-29-October-Budgie.jpgTweet this -- enterprise software met social media today in one of the first major business partnerships of its kind. 

IBM and Twitter have joined forces in the red-hot enterprise analytics software market.

The social media platform will integrate its data into IBM's Watson cloud analytics portfolio, customer engagement capabilities and consulting services in what company officials call a "landmark" partnership announced today at IBM Insight, the Armonk, NY-based technology giant's big data and analytics conference in Las Vegas.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo told the Insight crowd today that no one matches Twitter's ability to deliver real time insights from the real world.

"And IBM brings a unique ability" to deliver analytics, complex systems and data together for deeper trends and insights, he added.

If Hadoop Disappears, Will the Label on Your Distro Matter?

2014-24-October-Elephant-Family.jpgIn the next year we’ll see Hadoop disappear, so said Cloudera co-founder and chief strategy officer Mike Olson in his keynote at the O’Reilly Strata + Hadoop World conference last week.

Olson has a way of saying things that cause a reaction. Last year it was his introduction of the Enterprise Data Hub that took everyone off guard, and this year it’s the promise that the big data muncher named after an elephant in a storybook will practically vanish from the line of sight of all but a few geeks.

You’d think that if it were invisible and it was all open source then the brand of Hadoop used might not matter so much.

NetScout's Trying to Poison the Jury, Gartner Claims

Gartner took a hard swipe at NetScout Systems yesterday, claiming the information technology company is relying on "unnecessary, repetitious, scandalous, impertinent [and] immaterial" allegations to build a case against it and "poison the mind of the jury and the court."

In the latest action in what promises to be a lengthy legal fight, Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner took off its gloves to deliver a stinging blow to Westford, Mass.-based NetScout.

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.

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