Looking for the perfect match

February 28, 2013

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I’m at the O’Reilly Strata Big Data Conference in Santa Clara, CA this week where there’s lots of buzz about the value and reality of big data. It’s a fun time to be part of a hot new market in technology. But, of course, a hot new market brings a new set of challenges.

After talking to several attendees, I would not be surprised if someone took out an advertisement in the San Francisco Guardian that reads:

SEEKING BDT (Big Data Talent)

“Middle-aged attractive company seeks hot-to-trot data geek for mutually enjoyable discrete relationship, mostly involving analytics. Must enjoy long discussions about wild statistical models, short walks to the break room and large quantities of caffeine.”

The feedback from the presentations and attendees at Strata mimics the results from a Big Data survey that Pentaho released last week showing there is a lack of current skills to address new big data technologies such as Hadoop among existing staff and more generally on the market. This is good news for folks looking for jobs in Big Data and a good indication for others who want to learn new skills.

The market has created the perfect storm – the combination of hot new technology mixed with a myriad of very complex systems plus highly complicated statistical models and calculations. This storm is preventing the typical IT generalist or BI expert from applying.  More experienced data scientists who can spin models on their head with a twist of a mouse are in high demand. The need to garner value quickly from Big Data means there is little time to look for the “perfect match.”

It seems like new companies and technologies pop up almost every week, each with the promise of business benefits, but with the added cost of high complexity.  Shouldn’t things get easier with new technologies?

Pentaho’s Visual MapReduce is a prime example of things getting easier.  Getting data out of Hadoop quickly can be a challenge.  However, with Visual MapReduce any IT professional could pull the right information from a Hadoop cluster, improve the performance of a MapReduce job and make results available in the optimal format for business users.

New technologies might need new talent, but in the case of Pentaho Visual MapReduce, new technologies might only need new tools to help address them.

Looks like Pentaho is the perfect match.

Chuck Yarbrough
Technical Solutions Marketing


The Tesla vs. NY Times – How Analytics Helped Tesla Win

February 21, 2013

Tesla’s-Pricing-Strategy-for-the-Model-S-Luxury-Sedan-25

In the last couple of weeks the feud between The NY Times Editor, John Broder – and Tesla Motors’ CEO, Elon Musk has played out in the media.

It all started when Broder took a highway trip between Washington D.C. and Boston, cruising in Tesla’s Model S luxury sedan. The purpose of the trip was to range test the car between two new supercharging stations. This 200 miles trip was well under the Model S’s 265-mile estimated range. But nonetheless the trip was filled with anxiety for Broder. Fearful of not reaching his charging destination, he had to turn off the battery-draining amenities such as radio and heater (in a 30 degree weather) to finally reach his destination – feet and knuckles “frozen”.

In rebutting Broder’s claims, Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, has charged that the story was faked, that Mr. Broder intentionally caused his car to fail. On his Tesla blog, he released graphs and charts, based on driving logs that contest many of the details of Mr. Broder’s article.

With the logs now published, one thing is clear — Tesla’s use of predictive analytics helped them warn Broder on what is ahead. By calculating the range based on the energy consumption, Tesla signaled Broder to charge the vehicle in time. Had Tesla not been able to call its log files as witness, this futuristic motor tech company could have experienced serious brand damage.

What’s interesting is that Tesla’s story is not unique. Today, virtually anything that we use, an appliance, a mobile phone, an application, generates some sort of data – machine-generated data. And the truth exists behind that data. Such data, when analyzed and mined properly, provides indicators that solve problems, ahead of time.

Having real-time access to machine-generated data to foresee problems and improve performance is exactly why NetApp is using Pentaho. Using Hadoop and Pentaho Business Analytics to process and drive insights from 2-5 TBs of incoming data per week, NetApp has built a solution that sends alerts and notifications ahead of the actual hardware failure. The solution has helped NetApp predict its appliance interruptions for the E-Series storage units, offering new ways to exceed customer SLAs and protect the brand’s image.

Tesla, NetApp or other, if you run a data-driven business, the more your company can act on that data to improve your application, service or product performance, the better off your customers and the better your brand will be.

Pentaho Business Analytics gives companies fast and easy ways for collecting, analyzing and predicting data patterns. Pentaho’s customers see the value of analytics in many different facets and use cases. NetApp’s use case will be featured in Strata’s upcoming conference on Thursday, February 28, 2012.

Join us to find out more.

- Farnaz Erfan, Product and Solution Marketing, Pentaho


Xyratex and Pentaho – Making Big Data, Fast Data.

February 11, 2013

Pentaho and Xyratex today announced our strategic partnership to deliver the world’s first integrated Big Data analytics and scalable storage solution.  We have been working on this joint initiative for some time with the ClusterStor team at Xyratex. ClusterStor is the worlds fastest and most performant storage sub-system.  This will be significantly enhanced by the addition of Hortonworks Hadoop and Pentaho Business Analytics.

Xyratex and Pentaho will make Big Data, Fast Data.  This solves a key pain point for Xyratex’s customers. With all of the compute, storage, database and analytics in one true integrated platform, this appliance will eliminate the large data silos as well as put all of that Big Data, into the hands of the business users.  And it will do that fast!  The ClusterStor, Hadoop and Pentaho Big Data Appliance will deliver business analytics on huge data sets, at the lowest TCO and allow the ClusterStor customers to realize rapid business value from their data with a very short time to value.

Xyratex has taken the complexity of deploying Hadoop away from the customer with this integrated appliance. Critically, ClusterStor also meets all the key criteria in the deployment of an enterprise class Big Data solution; scalable, best in class performance, reliability and rapid time.


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