You can call data scientists plenty of things, including the often overused term from 2012 … sexy. But waiting in line for their services is not. Business users need to make decisions on the spot, or they risk losing their competitive advantage.

Take a Look

So what are they doing? They’re winging it, “using fiction, feelings and faith,” as Platfora CEO Ben Werther puts it. He points out that traditional BI tools can handle about 10 percent of data being generated (i.e. transactional data) but break down with the volume, variety and types of analysis needed when you weave in the other 90 percent (i.e. customer interaction — including web, mobile, social, ads and app data — and machine data aka Internet of Things).

It doesn’t need to be this way, there’s a new breed of analytics tools available that were built specifically for the age of big data. And get this, you don’t need to know Hadoop, PERL, Python or SAS to use them.

Instead business users can get data-driven answers through a new breed of solutions built natively for the challenge, providing self-service ability to visualize and go beyond pretty pictures to visually link behavior, actions and results, said Werther.

And the insights can be created and shared through a user-friendly web interface and visual formats such as pictures, graphs and charts, instead of eye-straining spreadsheets.

Learning Opportunities

“Decision makers no longer have to wait on data scientists, when new analytics tools put the power of data directly into the hands of line-of-business users,” said Werther.

“Rather than relying on hunches, the new data-driven enterprise is using empirical evidence and deep analytical insight to connect what goes on inside their business with all of their digital touchpoints and drive better customer experiences and real fact-based decisions. Big data has moved beyond the sandbox and into production at all levels of the enterprise.”

That was the big news from O’Reilly’s Strata Conference last week.

Check it out, the video: