I’ll Take Some Science with My Art

April 8, 2014

We’ve kicked off some amazing new content around Pentaho’s data visualization and dashboard capabilities that you won’t want to miss.

For those of you who don’t know, we have a team of in-house data design experts who specialize in creating 100% tailored analytics experiences for organizations with unique visualization and user interface needs. The team creates Pentaho platform solutions to business problems presented in a visual, elegant and intuitive fashion. And now, we’ve taken the opportunity to share that process with you in The Fine Art of Business Intelligence.

FineArt_Before

from ‘back of the napkin’…

FineArt_After

…to stellar visualization

What’s so special about this content is that it starts with sketches and business objectives (the kind our team receives all the time) – and provides visual design proposals and recommendations to satisfy those needs. We see too often in the BI marketplace an emphasis on ‘pretty pictures’ without consideration for guiding goals and strategy.  As you might expect, we at Pentaho believe that beautiful visuals can (and must) solve business challenges before all else – hence the ‘Fine’ in ‘Fine Art’.

There’s also a little something for everyone on the Fine Art of BI pages – with examples addressing real needs in social media marketing, finance and investing, telecom, and healthcare.

Additionally, in conjunction with this project, we’ve  collected visualization and dashboard best practices from our in-house design experts and shared them in this quick project guide. It’s definitely worth a read if you are struggling with how to begin your project, which visualizations you should consider, or what dashboard layout makes sense. The guide (and the Fine Art of BI samples) highlight a few key themes that are broadly applicable:

  • You need to have a plan before anything else: This includes considering the high-level organizational goals, analytics user needs, relevant and measurable KPIs, as well as data readiness. If your visualizations and dashboards are to be effectively utilized, they must align with the right user and business objectives.
  • Less tends to be more: Don’t put too many charts in your dashboard, don’t insert complex overlays on your location visualizations, and don’t discount a simple yet elegant bar chart (it may be the best way to convey information).
  • Engagement drives adoption: Whether in the form of interactive hover and drill-down features, eye-catching theming and branding, or embedding analytics into existing applications – the more effectively you can engage your users, the more likely they will be to continue to use your analytics.

In case you missed it before, here’s another link to the Fine Art of BI. We’d also recommend this Visualization Paper from TDWI for further reading.

Finally, here is a link to more information regarding our Custom Visualization and UI Design services offerings.

Ben Hopkins
Product Marketing Manager
Pentaho

Big Data, Big Revenue for Marketers

December 12, 2013

Why might Big Data mean millions for marketing?  Because it has the potential to create a more complete picture of the buyer, thereby empowering marketers to more effectively deliver the right message to the right individual at the right time – and ultimately increase sales.  In the following brief video from DMA 2013, Marketo VP/Co-founder Jon Miller and Pentaho CMO Rosanne Saccone provide a crash course on what Big Data means for marketers.  It covers:

  • The defining characteristics of Big Data – Velocity, Variety, & Volume
  • How marketers can leverage Big Data to blend operational information (CRM, ERP) and online data (web activity, social networking interactions) for new insights
  • Sample Big Data use cases that organizations are green-lighting today to optimize customer interactions and drive marketing’s contribution to revenue

Note that this is an excerpt from a larger presentation – for the full video please click here.

We’d also recommend this blog post by Jon Miller for more context on Big Data in marketing.

For additional compelling use cases that leverage Big Data for marketing and other functions, see here.

Ben Hopkins
Product Marketing
Pentaho


Amplify SaaS Apps by Tapping Diverse Data

November 14, 2013

How can analytics generate value in SaaS, CRM, HCM, and the proverbial “alphabet soup” of cloud applications?  Read below for the “cliff notes” from Pentaho’s recent webinar series on how vendors are leveraging analytics inside a variety of different SaaS (Software-as-a-service) apps. 

Pentaho just wrapped up several webinars with Montclare, a leading provider of SaaS advisory services, on how embedded analytics can benefit SaaS vendors in the Customer Success, Human Capital Management (HCM), and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) categories.  One clear trend was that thinking outside the box to incorporate new & novel data sources can create tremendous value for end users.  It’s not just about pretty visualizations and dashboards – it’s about insights that bubble up when diverse data is blended together.  We’ve broken out some webinar highlights below, and have also created a short summary video for each webinar – see links in each section.

Customer Success with Nick Mehta of Gainsight

Gainsight is a provider of customer success solutions.  CEO Nick Mehta stressed that before you can really build process around customer success, you need a data management strategy.  This means figuring out where crucial success information lives – whether in CRM, Product usage databases, customer surveys, billing systems, or other places.  It also means finding the right way to integrate this information and understanding the data granularity necessary for useful analytics (time frequency, aggregation, etc).

Gainsight’s “at a glance” view of customer base according to risk level (dot color), revenue (y axis), and time since they were signed (x axis)

Gainsight’s “at a glance” view of customer base according to risk level (dot color), revenue (y axis), and time since they were signed (x axis)

Big Data is one path for streamlining a data management approach.  Gainsight leverages a hierarchical infrastructure, where Hadoop serves as a high-volume raw data store, and NoSQL is used as an operational store for more summarized data, which then connects to a final end-user reporting layer.  Data and architecture innovation has allowed Gainsight to create an “at a glance” view of which customers may be at risk (see picture).  This resonates with an evolving trend where SaaS vendors are innovating via Big Data architectures to create more powerful, intelligent, & valuable apps for their customers.  The Customer Success video can be found here.

HCM with Janice D’Aloia of Mo’mix

Mo’mix is an IT software and services provider that embeds Pentaho Analytics in its Performance Center offering – which it launched to give customers a single view across a variety of enterprise data systems.  While self-service analytics and quick deployment helped drive the decision to partner with Pentaho, Mo’mix has really been able to generate value for customers by being able to connect to virtually any data source (ERP, HCM, niche sources, and more), bringing together an end-to-end view that’s accessible to all types of end users, from HR administrators up to the executive level.

Janice went over a few use cases where its clients improved HCM decision-making.  In one example, a client discovered that it was missing employee termination reasons in its source systems, and then was able to fix the discrepancy and track the relevant trends at a more granular to reduce voluntary terminations.  She also touched on retention use cases that focused on identifying high-performing and at-risk employees.  The HCM video can be found here.

CRM & Marketing with Montclare & Pentaho

In this presentation, Kevin Dobbs of Montclare shared some of the analytics-related trends driving CRM & Marketing application adoption – including demand for data insights on a variety of social media channels.  This was exemplified in the case of Paytronix, a Pentaho OEM partner that provides online loyalty solutions to restaurants.  As part of their deployment, Paytronix integrated social and mobile data sources, as well as Big Data technologies, to help clients optimize campaigns against end customer behavioral data more effectively.  At the same time, as they streamlined multi-source data for embedded analytics, Paytronix was also able to reduce ETL processing time by 80%, generating major operational benefits for customers.  The CRM & Marketing video can be found here.

These webinars highlight just a few examples of how application providers across the SaaS/software landscape are striving to deliver new data sources to their customers for additional analytics context and value.   You can access the full-length webinar videos here.  

Ben Hopkins
Product Marketing
Pentaho


Integration Solutions are Key in Unlocking Big Data Benefits

November 6, 2013

VR_HorizontalLogoWe’re tremendously excited that Ventana Research is launching a new benchmark research on Big Data Integration.  As it becomes clearer to the market that Big Data has huge potential to deliver business value, identifying the right tools & technologies to manage it in the context of specific organizational goals is crucial.  The new research aims to take a step forward in this realm, as it promises to take a hard look at current and planned Big Data deployments, honing in on the solutions for accessing and transforming Big Data in a variety of different technical architectures and business use cases. It should provide great insight into ways that organizations can “unlock” Big Data’s potential.  See the press release here – Ventana Research Launches Big Data Integration Benchmark Research

For further context, we recommend reading a recent blog post from Ventana’s VP & Research Director, Tony Consentino titled, Big Data and Analytics Helps Business Transform and Gain Competitive Advantage. Consentino highlights the broad applicability of Big Data solutions across industries to empower organizations in the face of accelerating changes in markets, operations, & customer preferences.  The blog also cites staffing and training as the two biggest challenges to Big Data analytics, which underlines the importance of the new benchmark research in helping businesses identify which integration approaches will help accelerate time to value through usability by the broadest base of team members.

If you are interested in learning more about or participating in this benchmark research visit ventanaresearch.com/BigDataIntegration. There are several incentives for qualified research participants such as a $5 Amazon.com gift certificate and a complementary report valued at $995 as well as access to a free educational webinar on best practices from the benchmark research.

Finally, the Ventana Research Innovation Summit is next week, November 11-12 in Chicago. Let us know if you will be attending as we would love to meet-up!

Ben Hopkins
Product Marketing


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