Attention Retail Banks, Its Time for Change!

July 18, 2014

Walhalla_(1896)_by_Max_Brückner

Retail banks, which have been wracked by scandals relating to PPI fraud, LIBOR rigging, unpopular bonus schemes and IT failures, need to think beyond upselling and cross-selling and consider how big data analytics can repair trust and improve the whole customer experience. In the article, Montetising Big Data in Retail Banks Starts with a Better Customer Experience, Davy Nys, VP of EMEA & APAC at Pentaho shares how retail banks can achieve  the ‘Valhalla’ of customer value pricing (CVP), or maximising the total value of a customer to a bank throughout all interactions and transactions. He explains how big data integration and analytics supports CVP in five ways:

  1. Supporting a two-way, 360-degree view
  2. Lower costs
  3. Smarter offers
  4. Customer friendly fraud detection
  5. Measuring customer sentiment

Learn more about how to achieve the ‘Valhalla’ of CVP read the full article here and register/attend the live webinar featuring Forrester Analyst Martha Bennett on the topic: Making the Most of your Data in the Financial Sector on July 22nd at 11am GMT


Pentaho 5.1 in LEGO

July 16, 2014

Two weeks ago we launched Pentaho Business Analytics 5.1. The new capabilities in Pentaho 5.1 support our ongoing strategy to make the hardest aspects of big data analytics faster, easier and more accessible to all. In honor of our Chief Architect, Will Gorman (also a LEGO Master Builder), we decided to have some fun with LEGO and now present to you the LEGO explanation of new features and functionality in Pentaho 5.1:

Lego_5.1

Direct Analytics on MongoDB – Unleash the value of MongoDB analytics for IT and Business Analysts with no coding required.

MongoDB5.1_2

Data Science Pack – Operationalize predictive models for R and Weka, drastically reducing data preparation time and effort.

Lego_RWeka

Full YARN Support – Reduce complexity for big data developers while leveraging the full power of Hadoop

YARN_5.1

Visit the 5.1 landing page to learn more about this release and access resources such as videos, data sheets, customer profiles and download.

 


Dinosaurs Have Had Their Day

June 16, 2014

dinosaur

Once upon a time, (not so) long ago in 2004, two young technologies were born from the same open source origins – Hadoop and Pentaho. Both evolved quickly from the market’s demand for better, larger-scale analytics, that could be adopted faster to benefit more players

Most who adopt Hadoop want to be disruptive leaders in their market without breaking the bank. Earlier this month at Hadoop Summit 2014, I talked to many people who told me, “I’d like to get off of <insert old proprietary software here> for my new big data applications and that’s why we’re looking at Pentaho.” It’s simple – no company is going to adopt Hadoop and then turn around and pay the likes of Informatica, Oracle or SAS outrageous amounts for data engineering or analytics.

Big data is the asteroid that has hit the tech market and changed its landscape forever, giving life to new business models and architectures based on open source technologies. First the ancient dinosaurs ignored open source, then they fought it and now they are trying to embrace it. But the mighty force of evolution had other plans. Dinosaurs are giving way to a more nimble generation that doesn’t depend on a mammoth diet of maintenance revenue, exorbitant license fees and long-term deals just to survive.

In this new world companies must continually evolve to survive and dinosaurs have had their day. It’s incredibly rewarding to be  part of a new analytics ecosystem that thrives on open standards, high performance and better value for customers. So many positive evolutionary changes have taken place in the last ten years, I can’t wait to see what the next ten will bring.

Richard Daley
Founder and Chief Strategy Officer
Pentaho

Image: #147732373 / gettyimages.com


Good news, your data scientist just got a personal assistant

June 3, 2014

personal asstIf you are or have a data scientist in house you’re in for good news.

Today at Hadoop Summit in San Jose, Pentaho unveiled a toolkit built specifically for data scientists to simplify the messy, time-consuming data preparation, cleansing and orchestration of analytic data sets. Don’t just take it from us…

The Ventana Research Big Data Analytics Benchmark Research estimates the top two time-consuming big data tasks are solving data quality and consistency issues (46%) and preparing data for integration (52%). That’s a whopping amount of time just spent getting data prepped and cleansed, not to mention the time spent in post processing results.  Imagine if time spent preparing, managing and orchestrating these processes could be handed off to a personal assistant leaving more time to focus on analyzing and applying advanced and predictive algorithms to data (i.e. doing what a data scientist is paid to do).

Enter the Pentaho Data Science Pack, the personal assistant to the data scientist.  Built to help operationalize advanced analytic models as part of a big data flow, the data science pack leverages familiar tools like R, the most-used tool for data scientists and Weka, a widely used and popular open source collection of machine learning algorithms. No new tools to learn. In the words of our own customer, Ken Krooner, President at ESRG “There was a gap in the market until now and people like myself were piecing together solutions to help with the data preparation, cleansing and orchestration of analytic data sets. The Pentaho Data Science Pack fills that gap to operationalize the data integration process for advanced and predictive analytics.”

Pentaho is at the forefront of solving big data integration challenges, and we know advanced and predictive analytics are core ingredients for success. Find out how close at hand your data science personal assistant is and take a closer look at the Data Science Pack.

Chuck Yarbrough
Director, Big Data Product Marketing


Cloudera Stamp of Approval

April 3, 2014

logo_cloudera_certifiedYesterday, Cloudera announced the general availability of Cloudera 5 (C5), the latest generation of Cloudera’s unified data platform for the enterprise data hub. Pentaho engineers have been working on certification since the beta was available in early February to make sure we are certified on day one of the GA.

Cloudera and Pentaho  have a long standing strategic relationship with tested joint technologies that have been deployed time and time over again. By using Cloudera Certified products, enterprises significantly reduce risk while taking advantage of the worlds most complete, tested and popular platform powered by Apache Hadoop. This stamp of approval should put customers at ease when deploying C5 knowing that Pentaho and Cloudera have worked together to ensure the highest level of capabilities and compatibility.

Learn more about Pentaho and Cloudera’s joint solution benefits, access the download, resources and recordings.

Paul Vasquez
Senior Product Manager, Technology Partners
Pentaho
@BigDataPaul


Robert Frost on Big Data

March 27, 2014

frostThere is a time to be adventurous and take the path less travelled as Frost points out in the often quoted, “Road Not Taken” –but not with big data. I wonder what Frost would have to say about big data, a concept difficult to comprehend in the early 1900’s.  In reviewing the poem (poetry being an arm chair interest of mine), it becomes clear that there is some ambiguity about whether Frost intended to promote taking the “Road Less Travelled.”  In fact, it is thought that the poem was written in jest to his friend Lawrence Thomas to convey that the true regret is in not making a decision at all.

This ambiguity and indecisiveness is very present in the big data ecosystem.  Most organizations are cognizant of the disruptive force of big data — it’s impact on the competitive business landscape and the way consumers live their daily lives.  Fortunately, they also know there is little, if no room for regret at taking the Big Data Road Less Travelled or not choosing a path at all.

To that end Pentaho has collected and shared four paths that many of our customers have successfully travelled to achieve business value from big data.  They are four common big data use cases that reduce costs, optimize and begin to transform businesses.  We have laid out four roads that have been well traveled and ended in big data success. I highly encourage you to explore our top four big data use cases and the roads most often travelled. No regrets.

Donna Prlich
Sr. Director, Product Marketing

 


Blueprints to Big Data Success

March 21, 2014

data-refinerySeems like these days, everyone falls into one of the three categories.  You are either:

  1. Executing a big data strategy
  2. Implementing a big data strategy
  3. Taking a wait and see attitude

If you’re in one of the first two categories, good for you!  If you’re in the third, you might want re-think your strategy. Companies that get left behind will have a huge hill to climb just to catch up to the competition.

If one of your concerns with moving forward with big data has been a lack of solid guidance to help pave the path to success, then you are in luck!  Pentaho has recently released four Big Data Blueprints to help guide you through the process of executing a strategy.  These are four use cases that Pentaho has seen customers execute successfully.  So, this isn’t just marketing fluff.  These are real architectures that supports real big data business value.  The four blueprints now available on Pentaho’s website includes:

  • Optimize the data warehouse
  • Streamlined data refinery
  • Customer 360-degree view
  • Monetize my data

These blueprints will help you understand the basic architectures that will support your efforts and achieve your desired results.  If you are like many companies just getting started with big data, these are great tools to guide you through the murky waters that lie ahead.  Here is my quick guide to the four Blueprints, where you may want to get started and why.

The Big Data Blueprints

1.    Optimize the Data Warehouse
The data warehouse optimization (or sometimes referred to as data warehouse offloading or DWO) is a great starter use case for gaining experience and expertise with big data, while reducing costs and improving the analytic opportunities for end users.  The idea is to increase the amount of data being stored, but not by shoving it into the warehouse, but by adding Hadoop to house the additional data.  Once you have Hadoop in the mix, Pentaho makes it easy to move data into Hadoop from external sources, move data bi-directionally between the warehouse and Hadoop, as well as makes it easy to process data in Hadoop.  Again, this is a great place to start.  It’s not as transformative to your business as the other use cases can be, but it will build expertise and save you money.

2.    Streamlined Data Refinery
The idea behind the refinery is to provide a way to stream transaction, customer, machine, and other data from their sources through a scalable big data processing hub, where Hadoop is then used to process transformations, store data, and process analytics that can then be sent to an analytic model for reporting and analysis.  Working with several customers, we have seen this as a great next step after the DWO.

3.    Customer 360-Degree View
This blueprint is perhaps the most transformative of all the potential big data use cases. The idea here is to gain greater insight into what your customer is doing, seeing, feeling and purchasing.  All with the idea that you can then serve and retain that customer better, and attract more customers into your fold.  This blueprint lays out the architecture needed to start understanding your customer better.  It will require significant effort in accessing all the appropriate customer touch points, but the payoff can be huge.  Don’t worry too much about getting the full 360-degree view at first; starting with even one small slice can drive huge revenue and retention rates.

4.    Montetize My Data
What do you have locked up in your corporate servers, or in machines you own?  This blueprint can be as transformative as the Customer 360, in that it can create new revenue streams that you may not have ever thought about before.  In some cases, it could create a whole new business opportunity.  What ever your strategy, take time to investigate where and how you can drive new business by leveraging your data.

There are other blueprints that have been defined and developed by Pentaho, but these are four that typically make the most sense for organizations to leverage first.  Feel free to reach out to us for more information about any of these blueprints or to learn more about how Pentaho helps organizations be successful with big data.

Find out more about the big data blueprints at http://www.pentaho.com/big-data-blueprints.

Please let me know what you think @cyarbrough.

Thanks!
Chuck Yarbrough
Product Marketing, Big Data


International Women’s Day – Software Developer

March 7, 2014

As part of our series highlighting women in tech for International Women’s Day on March 8th we are we are featuring Gretchen Moran, Software Developer at Pentaho. Gretchen’s title may be ‘Software Developer,’ however, over her nine years at Pentaho, she has worn many technical hats to help lead the company to where it is today!

Rosanne, Sarah, Michelle and Gretchen are just a few of the impressive women that work at Pentaho. Our goal with this series is to promote the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day…to inspire change. We encourage you to share their stories with girls and women to encourage them to become more interested in STEM or to hopefully bring more strong and smart women to the tech industry.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Gretchen Moran, Software Developer at Pentaho

What do you do at Pentaho? How long have you been at Pentaho?
I have been developing software in the warehousing and business analytics space for 15 years, 9 of them with Pentaho.

I have held many different roles through my many years at Pentaho. When I haven’t been coding, I have worked with our talented open source community, managed the technical side of larger Pentaho customer accounts as a Technical Account Manager, and consulted on numerous internal projects.

My current role is software developer for Pentaho Data Integration and Pentaho’s Big Data stack of technology.

What inspired you to want you to work in technology?
I have always wanted to push boundaries. In college, I wanted to see how far I could take my interests in math and science. My college career began in the 90’s, and computing and technology provided a great landscape to test my skills.

As I have grown in my career, working in technology has given me the challenges and change I need to stay engaged in my work. It has also allowed the flexibility I desire to be a great mom.

How do you think the industry could inspire more girls and women towards careers in technology? 
I think we need to talk less about inspiring women toward technology, and talk more about how a career in technology can fuel any passion a person might have.  Are you passionate about the medical field? Innovate some tech that will make medical records handling more efficient and private. Are you passionate about drama and acting? Pursue a career in graphics and animation; filmmaking today is as much technology as it is human resources.  In my experience, the passion doesn’t lie in the code; it lies in the industries you are coding for.

What advice do you have for women wanting to become a software developer?

Engage! The mainstreaming of open source makes this easier than ever today. Find a tutorial, get some code under your belt, and then start contributing to a project that means something to you. The best part is that there is a project for everyone. From open source medical records systems that serve third world countries to smart phone apps that help you find great shoes. It’s all out there, anyone can contribute, and there are few barriers to entry.

The formal education for computer science does not need to be intimidating. As with any worthy endeavor, it requires focus and hard work, and is absolutely within reach if you are passionate about the subject. The key to finding passion in technology for me was realizing that no subject is outside the technology realm.

Confession – I am not a code junky. A new API or performance progress does not excite me. I get excited when a customer wins based on Pentaho solutions that revealed a market differentiator for them. I get excited when I see Pentaho Community Edition implementations powering countries and organizations that would otherwise be shut out of the business analytics value proposition.

I’ve had the privilege of giving this advice to many different demographic and age groups. I recently spoke to a computer club at a local middle school, and a week later gave the same talk to a house full of single moms in a transitional program. Technology from an open perspective is a meritocracy upon entry; it’s up to the entrant to determine how far they will take it. That advice applies equally to boys AND girlsJ

What is a favorite memory you have about Pentaho?
My favorite memories will always be the first year(s) of Pentaho. There is a special energy that a company has as a startup. Late nights, bean bags for office chairs, and a few energetic developers working toward a common vision of disrupting the business intelligence industry is a wonderful thing I’ve been privileged to be a part of.  I love that even as we have grown, we have kept this energy and passion for what we do as a company.

Fun Fact about you. 
I love Christian mission work! I have served in New Orleans and Guatemala and have contributed to missions in Central America and Africa for the last five years.

I also have three of the greatest kids EVER… if I do say soJ


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


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