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Big Data News & Analysis

Analytics, Big Data and ... Hocus Pocus?

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Businesses that are scrambling to keep up with the quickly changing e-commerce world are turning to big data and analytics as important, if not primary tools. Collect enough data and apply complex analytical methods to it, the story goes, and you will find the answers you need to understand today and plan for tomorrow.

We’ve given these tools catchy names. Big Data Analytics (BDA) has an authoritative ring -- but the underlying disciplines haven’t changed in decades. Whatever we call it, analysis involves sampling what’s happening now and using statistical methods to derive trends that allow us to make changes to improve our results. If it doesn’t do that, it isn’t worth much.

In a BDA world, you grab every piece of data you can from your commerce, Web-based and otherwise, and then apply statistical techniques to it to tell you why your customers behave as they do and what they are likely to do if you change your approach.

What could be the problem? 

How to Teach Your CRM to Think - and Learn from Big Data

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The problem with big data is, well, it’s big.

Even with the best CRM to record and organize every interaction with your customer, if you don’t know how to leverage that data, you could risk damaging the customer experience, and leaving money on the table.

But what if your CRM could take all of that data, extract exactly the information you need, and make recommendations to not only give the best possible solution to a service question, but empower sales staff to upsell and cross-sell with confidence? In short: What if your CRM could think?

Sounds like a tall order, but Guy Mounier, CEO of CustomerMatrix, says his company’s new enterprise cognitive system, Cognitive Intelligence Engine for CRM, does just that.

3 Vendors Lead the Wave for Big Data Predictive Analytics

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Enterprises have lots of solid choices for big data predictive analytics.

That’s the key takeaway from Forrester's just released Wave for Big Data Predictive Analytics Solutions for the second quarter of 2015.

That being said, the products Forrester analysts Mike Gualtieri and Rowan Curran evaluated are quite different.

Data scientists are more likely to appreciated some, while business analysts will like others. Some were built for the cloud, others weren’t.

They all can be used to prepare data sets, develop models using both statistical and machine learning algorithms, deploy and manage predictive analytics lifecycles, and tools for data scientists, business analysts and application developers.

Q2 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (1-Apr-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.)

Tweet Jam: Making Sense of the Collaboration Tool Landscape

As companies adopt one-size-fits all ESNs, employees are adopting lightweight context-driven tools so how can companies balance these two pulls? Find out at our upcoming Tweet Jam!

> More Information

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Big Data Gets Big Money for Big Reasons

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Companies have been throwing money hand over fist into the predictive analytics, data management and business intelligence world over the last few weeks. And while it would be easy to toss all of these under the "Big Data" umbrella, it's more interesting to look at these deals in light of the challenges that each will solve.

Let's take a quick look at five transactions: $225 million total to Birst, Health Catalyst, Localytics and Ayasdi as well as Apple's recent acquisition of FoundationDB.

Looking at these deals helps show existing analytic and data challenges and where new competitors are coming into the market to partner with and challenge traditional players like Oracle, Teradata, IBM, SAP and Microsoft.

A Yelp for Enterprise Analytics? Alation Emerges from Stealth

Why is the distance from data to discovery so long?

Show me someone who works with big data, and I’ll show you someone who has asked the question.

And while most data scientists, analytics professionals and business analysts can give you a list of steps they have to take before they can even begin to extract insights from information, some will fess up to something else too — it may not be a completely virgin path they’re traveling to get answers. Someone may have been here before.

If that's the case, then being able to follow his footprints and learn from his experience would sure come in handy. CliffsNotes and SparkNotes would be of help, too.

But there’s no easy way to find out who that person was, even if he works at your company, and to know what he was looking for. It’s a large enterprise that’s inhospitable to bread crumbs.

It doesn’t have to be this way, according to Satyen Sangani. He’s the CEO and co-founder of Alation, the data accessibility company that emerges from stealth today.

Do You Care What People Say About Your Brand on Facebook?

Developing a targeted message for a Facebook fan page audience can be challenge. The challenge takes a new turn when a business is unaware of how positively or negatively its online activity is accepted among its fan page followers.

Facebook has made sentiment easier for business operating a fan page through the launch of a new set of fan page metrics called Topic Data.

Topic Data reveals the aggregate sentiment of fan page audiences on Facebook about events, brands, subjects and activities. That will help businesses gauge whether the sentiment is good or bad.

Maybe Hadoop Providers Can Protect Your Data After All

There’s one thing no one in the Hadoop community will argue about — namely, that the big data crunching technology’s enterprise features are growing quickly.

In fact, that may be one of the best things about the highly competitive market. Every vendor is continuously raising its game to win customers.

And in the Hadoop world, security is a hot issue. “Hadoop isn’t inherently secure,” said David Chaiken, CTO of Hadoop-as-a-Service (HaaS) provider Altiscale.

But that doesn’t mean that the Hadoop-based products or services that Enterprises pay for aren’t secure. On the contrary, that’s one of the reasons that the commercial vendors are in business. It’s what they add on to naked Apache Hadoop that creates differentiation.

Q1/Q2 Planning: Top Marketing Technology, Social Business Conferences & Events (25-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: 7 Ways to a Competitive Advantage with the Cloud

Join CMSWire and OpenText with Guest Speaker Forrester Research on Mar 26th for a one-hour webinar on using the cloud to move faster and overtake the competition.

> Register Now

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Money and More: It Pays To Be a B*DAS* Developer [Infographic]

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With big data and analytics being all the rage, hiring a Big Data, Analytics Software (thus the term B*DAS*) developer is no easy task. “Developers are the kingmakers,” explained Matt Asay, vice president of mobile at Adobe. At the time he said that, he was working at MongoDB.

And the job rate for this kind of worker is growing faster than the amount of qualified talent.

This is a problem for employers because 3rd platform developers write the software that can catapult them to new heights or let them float into oblivion. And we’re not talking only startups, but also big companies like Nordstrom, Cigna, FICO and even the Federal Government. They need these kinds of workers, too.

As a result, businesses are pulling out all the stops to attract developers. But before they can do that, they need to discover who these developers are and how they prefer to work. Otherwise, there’s no point in putting a perks package together.

The Future of Smart Cities Depends on Who You Ask

Gartner and IBM are at odds over a potential collision between the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities.

Gartner researchers think a large number of IoT related devices will be tied into smart cities by the end of this year. But Katharine Frase, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of IBM Public Sector claim the two are close but will remain separate for the time being.

Gartner estimates that 1.1 billion connected things will be used by smart cities in 2015, rising to 9.7 billion by 2020. The predictions are included in a new report that curiously overstates the case by 300 million entitled Smart Cities Will Include 10 Billion Things by 2020.

Users Wonder: Can Hadoop Protect Our Big Data?

Nearly nine out of 10 Hadoop users (89 percent) are uncertain whether native security tools provide enough protection for their big data projects.

The irony is almost the same percentage of users (86 percent) rate data security as a critical requirement for their Hadoop data lake or hub.

The survey was conducted by Protegrity at last month's Strata + Hadoop World Summit in San Jose, Calif.

Despite the giant question mark over Hadoop security, users are apparently willing to continue to deploy the technology.

Some 80 percent of respondents reported their organizations are using Hadoop in production environments. In addition, 80 percent estimate their organizations would be spending more on Hadoop-related projects this year.

Apache: What a Zoo

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"Someone told me it’s all happening at the zoo..."

If you're old enough to remember Simon and Garfunkel, you may appreciate that 48 years ago this month, their song “At the Zoo” entered the Billboard Top 10. For the rest of you -- the majority I'd expect -- you probably think of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). I'd suggest that for all of us, ASF has improved our lives.

Oracle: Our Real World Data Cloud Can Help You Simulate Audiences

Oracle’s recent launch of its Data Cloud service for customer data is not just another acquisition, renamed and relaunched with Oracle’s red banner. It’s not just one more step toward parity with Salesforce — the company founded by the Oracle CEO’s former protégé.

It's an acknowledgement from one of the companies that established data as a business that deep behavioral analysis of customer behavior is not only common — but a commodity in itself.

Can a Plug and Play Data Lake Save the EMC Federation?

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Big data is new oil, the new gold, the new kale (wait … kale?). Honest to God, we’ve heard the latter one said.

Regardless of what analogy you use for the mass quantities of information your company stores or accesses, chances are good that it isn’t gleaning much insight from it yet.

And that’s not because CEO’s fail to see the value. In fact, a January survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit reveals that 48 percent of executives believe big data is a useful tool. And another 23 percent predict big data will revolutionize the way businesses are managed.

If this is the case, then why isn’t big data more broadly deployed?

Some claim companies don’t know how or where to get started — or think the time to value is too long.

The EMC Federation (EMC 2 + VMware + Pivotal + RSA + VCE) hopes to change that perception. Later this morning, it will unveil its EMC Federation Business Data Lake solution. Its promise is to enable organizations to realize the value of big data analytics in as little as one week as opposed to months.

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