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Business Intelligence News & Analysis

Why Salesforce Analytics Cloud May Be a Big Deal

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One of the big myths around business analytics, at this point in time, is that it's democratized. That the average business user can grab a dataset, ask questions around it, and glean the insights needed to take informed action on the spur of the moment, regardless of where they are and what kind of screen they‘re staring at.

The next time someone tells you this, say “show me.” Odds are that you’ll discover that when they say “average,” it doesn’t include most of us. And that “democratized” refers to a wider variety of data workers, meaning that they don’t necessarily have to be data scientists, statistical whizzes or know how to work with R, but it’s a pretty good bet that terms like “data profiling,” "data modeling” and Analytics will show up on their resumes more often than “exceeded quota.” 

NetScout Responds to Court Order, Revises Complaint Against Gartner

NetScout Systems' complaint against Gartner just got a little thinner — and a lot less entertaining for anyone who enjoys perusing page upon page of "prejudicial, immaterial, unnecessary" and improper allegations that "attempt to plead evidence rather than facts."

Connecticut Superior Court Judge Charles T. Lee ordered NetScout attorneys to revise the complaint to eliminate what Gartner's team had characterized as "references to law that does not apply; industries that are not involved; historical scandals that are irrelevant; and nonparties having nothing to do with the dispute."

The revised complaint, filed this week, is a mere 49 pages — nine pages lighter than the original one Westford, Mass.-based NetScout filed last August against Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner.

MapR Closes the Big Data-to-Action Loop

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Everyone knows the time from data-to-action can be critical to winning business, regardless of the variety, velocity, variability and volume of information involved in the process.

And in a world where data is created not only at a pace that is challenging to even ponder but also streams from the Internet of Things (IoT), data lakes are so broad and so deep that making sense of anything in them in real time and reacting accordingly seems unfathomable. Add globally distributed data, and forget about it.

Or maybe not. Because MapR’s latest release, which includes Hadoop has been built for the real time, data-centric enterprise. It leverages table replication features designed to extend access to “big and fast” data enabling multiple instances to be updated in different locations, with all the changes synchronized across them.

“Real time is not just about running a query. It’s also about how and where and how quickly information is processed and the action an organization is going to take,” said Jack Norris, the MapR's chief marketing officer.

Manufacturers Stand on the Cusp of a Big Data Boom

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Despite what the hype surrounding big data might lead you to believe, the widespread existence of data is not a new concept, nor has there been some sudden "aha!" moment when decision makers realized that data could be put to use to better their businesses. Data -- and lots of it -- has always existed, and companies have always understood that it has value. There just wasn’t a whole lot they could do about it.

That is, of course, until the development of so-called big data technologies -- a wave of new tools that make it possible to store, integrate and analyze data more efficiently and affordably than ever before. These technologies have transformed data analysis from a cost-cutting mechanism into a primary vehicle through which companies make money and find new revenue streams.

When people talk about the power of big data, they’re really talking about this transformation. And perhaps no industry is a better embodiment of it than manufacturing.

Hitachi Buys Pentaho to Build Internet of Things That Matter

Managing all the data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) is both a daunting task and a tremendous opportunity. The company that does it well, first, and for the right reasons could have an unprecedented ability to impact the world in a positive way.

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) wants to be that company and it believes that adding big data analytics capabilities to its portfolio is key. So it goes to follow that today it announced its intent to acquire BI vendor Pentaho, which is best known for its big data platform that simplifies preparing and blending all types of data and includes a spectrum of tools that enable users to easily analyze, visualize, explore, report insights and predict outcomes.

Google, EU on Collision Course Over So-Called Right to Forget

A Google advisory panel has concluded that people have the right to be forgotten — or, more accurately, a right not to be mentioned in search anymore. But it contends that right should only apply in the European Union, not across Google's wider global search.

The report is latest in an ongoing debate between Google and the European Union (EU) over an individual's right to remove or delist certain information. Last May, the European Court of Justice Ruling ordered Google to remove links to personal information from search results leading to personal information on an individual in Spain.

The ruling has been widely, albeit inaccurately, referred to as creating a “Right to be Forgotten."

In the aftermath of the ruling, Google convened an independent panel to advise it on performing "the balancing act between an individual’s right to privacy and the public’s interest in access to information." The findings are based in part on a series of public consultations across Europe.

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. 

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.

What's Next for Big Data? Predictions for 2015

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.

Wizeline Partners with Salesforce to Deliver Intelligent Product Data

The two-second product pitch for the year-old Wizeline data intelligence platform would be "a new way of thinking about product development."

That's how Adam Sewall, director of marketing and partnerships at the San Francisco-based tech company, sees it.

To boost its data-driven approach to enhancing products, Wizeline yesterday became part of the Salesforce Partner Program and announced the availability of its new Product Tracker application on the Salesforce AppExchange.

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.

OpenText Buys Actuate: Beginning of a New Era for ECM?

When content management was introduced in the 1980s, it was cutting-edge, even bleeding edge and promised to transform the ways in which we work and do business. Getting “the right information, to the right people at the right time” was its promise. Much of that its promise has been realized, at least in terms of what we thought of as “information.”

But the world, back then, wasn’t digitized the way it is today. Data was far more static and when we heard “tsunami,” we thought of a dangerous wave of water rather than a wave of information that held the potential for tremendous opportunity. How times have changed.

And for content management vendors, today’s world of big data, small data and analytics opens the door for transformation. By harnessing their existing offerings and leveraging 3rd platform tools, enterprises will be able to engage with their customers and employees in more valuable ways — whether they ‘re pushing the right offerings to customers more intelligently, learning more about which products and services to put to market, becoming alert to customer problems before they become big problems and working more intelligently and more collaboratively with employees and business partners.

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