Is Sage Kotsenburg a Big Data Analyst?

February 13, 2014

I was pleased to be part of a panel discussion Tuesday called “Getting There from Here: Moving Data Science into the Boardroom,” moderated by Alistair Croll with colleagues Chris Selland of HP Vertica and Scott Chastain of SAS Institute.  This panel was part of O’Reilly’s Strata Conference Data-Driven Business Day.

It’s amazing to see how the Strata Conference has changed over the last couple of years. With big data becoming truly operational across many different industries, companies are now looking at how to manage, blend and analyze data to make profitable business decisions and fly past competitors.

One interesting topic we debated was whether being able to process, analyze and predict outcomes with all this data might drive conformity and ‘dull’ innovation. Will we become so reliant on predictive algorithms and models that we lose confidence in our intuition and not apply enough business judgment into our decision-making?

In preparing, reflecting on these and other burning questions before the panel, I was inspired by the athletes competing in the Sochi Winter Olympics. Sage Kotsenburg, who won the Gold medal in ‘Slopestyle’ snowboarding, managed to blend creativity and style with calculated risk-taking. He had the same data as everyone else in the competition: the course terrain and conditions, the strengths and weaknesses of his competitors, historical trends on how the judges rate different types of athletic feats and other information. Armed with this data and his ability to (literally!) analyze it ‘on the fly,’ he then layered on his intuition to bust some totally unexpected moves, such as the ‘Holy Crail’, that blew the judges away! This demonstrates that being analytical doesn’t come at the expense of using intuition – the two actually strengthen each other. This New York Times pictorial is a great explanation of Sage’s blend of creativity, style and calculated risk-taking.

Let’s explore further how this relates to business decision-making, data science and big data analytics.  Consider how the best business and operational managers make decisions:

  1. They assess the competitive landscape – which are the other key players? What are their strengths and weaknesses (innovation, execution, service)? How have they historically gained customers and grown their businesses? What might they do in the future based on their historical moves?
  2. They assess what customers will want to reward/buy (the criteria the ‘judges’ will use to assess performance).  Some of that seems obvious based on what criteria they specified, but often what a customer truly wants is more subtle and personal. Some want to be inspired, while others want to remove risk. Some would like to be a hero to their end users, while others value having a ‘cool-factor’ in their product.
  3. They take stock in their company’s strengths and weaknesses to determine how to best meet customers’ needs. Every company has its own ‘DNA’ or approach, just like every Olympic athlete.  Are you great at execution (so go for technical perfection)? Flexible and creative (so showcase the art of the possible)?
  4. They apply business judgment to determine how to take advantage of the opportunities they see – often needing to make a change ‘on the fly’ based on new data…just like Sage decided to create a new move on the fly to change the rules of the game during that particular meet.
  5. Lastly, they have to execute well enough on the strategy we have picked – choosing the right time, right place and right moves.  Sage’s execution wasn’t perfect, but combined with his creativity, energy and style, his overall performance was solid gold.

What’s the implication for those of us whose competitive sports take place in the world of business?  We need to make sure we put consumable, near real-time information into the hands of the operational managers who can apply business judgment, decide on courses of actions, and ultimately own the outcome of decisions.  We may not always feel the exhilaration of the wind in our face, jumping at neck-breaking speeds down steep cliffs, but we can combine analytics with our best business judgment to go for the gold!

Rosanne Saccone
CMO
Pentaho


Announcing Pentaho with Storm and YARN

February 11, 2014

One of Pentaho’s core beliefs is that you can’t prepare for tomorrow with yesterday’s tools. In June of 2013, amidst waves of emerging big data technologies, Pentaho established Pentaho Labs to drive innovation through the incubation of these new technologies. Today, one of our Labs projects hatches.  At the Strata Conference in Santa Clara, we announced native integration of Pentaho Data Integration (PDI) with Storm and YARN. This integration enables developers to process big data and drive analytics in real-time, so businesses can make critical decisions on time-sensitive information.

Read the announcement here.

Here is what people are saying about Pentaho with Storm and YARN:

Pentaho Customer
Bryan Stone, Cloud Platform Lead, Synapse Wireless: “As an M2M leader in the Internet of Everything, our wireless solutions require innovative technology to bring big data insights to business users. The powerful combination of Pentaho Data Integration, Storm and YARN will allow my team to immediately leverage real-time processing, without the delay of batch processing or the overhead of designing additional transformations. No doubt this advancement will have a big impact on the next generation of big data analytics.

Leading Big Data Industry Analyst
Matt Aslett, Research Director, Data Management and Analytics, 451 Research: “YARN is enabling Hadoop to be used as a flexible multi-purpose data processing and analytics platform. We are seeing growing interest in Hadoop not just as a platform for batch-based MapReduce but also rapid data ingestion and analysis, especially using Apache Storm. Native support of YARN and Storm from companies like Pentaho will encourage users to innovate and drive greater value from Hadoop.”

Pentaho founder and Pentaho Labs Leader
Richard Daley, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Pentaho: “Our customers are facing fast technology iterations from the relentless evolution of the big data ecosystem. With Pentaho’s Adaptive Big Data Layer and Big Data Analytical Platform our customers are “future proofed” from the rapid pace of evolution in the big data environment. In 2014, we’re leading the way in big data analytics with Storm, YARN, Spark and predictive, and making it easy for customers to leverage these innovations.”

Learn more about the innovation of Pentaho Data Integration for Storm on YARN in Pentaho Labs at pentaho.com/storm

If you are at O’Reilly Strata Conference in Santa Clara this week make sure to stop by booth 710 to see a live demo of Pentaho Data integration with Storm and YARN at the O’Reilly Strata Conference in Santa Clara, February 11-13 at Booth 710. The Pentaho team of technologist, data scientist and executives will be on hand to share the latest big data innovations from Pentaho Labs.

Donna Prlich
Senior Director, Product Marketing
Pentaho


edo optimizes data warehouse, increases loyalty and targets new customers

February 10, 2014

edo

What do you do when you need to track, store, blend, and analyze over 6 billion financial data transactions with the outlook of daily growth by the millions? edo Interactive, inc is a digital advertising company that leverages payment networks to connect brands with consumers. Their legacy data integration and analysis system took more than 27 hours to run, meaning that meeting daily Service Level Agreements was nearly impossible. However, after only a few weeks of implementing a data distribution on Hadoop, with Pentaho for data integration, edo Interactive was able to reduce its processing time to less than 8 hours, often as little as 2 hours.

Minimum timesaving’s of 70% quickly precipitated cost savings. With an optimized data warehouse, edo and its clients also spend less time navigating IT barriers. Pentaho’s graphical user interface, removes cumbersome coding of batch process jobs, enabling sophisticated and simplified conversion of data from PostgreSQL to Hadoop, Hive and HBase. edo and its clients quickly gain insights to customer preferences, refine marketing strategies and provide their customers with improved experience and satisfaction.

Edo Interactive successfully navigated many of the obstacles faced when implementing a big data environment and created a lasting and scalable solution. Their vision to provide end-users a better view of their customers has helped shape a new data architecture and embedded analytics capabilities.

To learn more about edo’s Big Data vision and success, read their customer success overview and case study on Pentaho.com. We are excited to announce that Tim Garnto, SVP of Product Engineering at edo, will share his story live when he presents at O’Reilly + Strata on Thursday, February 13th in Santa Clara (11:30AM, Ballroom G).

Strata Santa Clara is already sold out! If you are interested to learn more about edo’s Big Data deployment, leave your questions in the comments section below and we will ask Tim during his speaking session at Strata.

Ben Mayer
Customer Marketing
Pentaho


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