Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Aug 10, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Aug 10, 2012

Aug 13, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
How is big data faring in the enterprise?  (ZD Net)
Big Idea: With the hype sometimes seeming to reach a fever pitch, Hinchcliffe takes a look at how enterprises are really using big data along with the overall maturity of the new industry itself.    He examines adoption rates (more companies think big data will have an impact than are actually implementing big data solutions) and trends in technology, infrastructure, and business solutions.

Article of the Week

Prepared Minds



How is big data faring in the enterprise?


By Dion Hinchcliffe


Big Idea: With the hype sometimes seeming to reach a fever pitch, Hinchcliffe takes a look at how enterprises are really using big data along with the overall maturity of the new industry itself.    He examines adoption rates (more companies think big data will have an impact than are actually implementing big data solutions) and trends in technology, infrastructure, and business solutions.

ZD Net


August 10, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
Shopper Alert: Price May Drop For You Alone (NY Times)
Big Idea: Grocers are beginning to offer personalized pricing, varying the prices available to shoppers based on their shopping history.

Meet The Research Scientist Who Is Turning YouTube Into A Data Goldmine (Fast Company)
Big Idea:  Research scientist Louis-Philippe Morency scoured YouTube to find practical applications for the problem of reading human behaviors. Here’s what businesses can learn from how people behave on camera.

Microsoft’s Workplace Social Network Becomes Emotionally Aware (MIT Technology Review)
Big Idea: Bosses who want help gauging employees’ morale can now turn to Microsoft’s workplace social network, Yammer. A new feature offers managers a kind of emotional surveillance system, showing which feelings workers are expressing in messages posted to a company’s Yammer network, which has similarities to both Facebook and Twitter.

For Google, keeping search relevant means baking big data into everything (Gigaom)
Big Idea: Google has opened its Knowledge Graph to the English-speaking world and has made intelligent voice search possible on mobile phones. Underneath it all, of course, are ever more-complex methods of analyzing data to make search smarter and easier than it has any business being.

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Aug 3, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Aug 3, 2012

Aug 6, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
How ‘Big Data’ Is Different (MIT Sloan Management Review)
Big Idea: These days, lots of people in business are talking about “big data.” But how do the potential insights from big data differ from what managers generate from traditional analytics? Organizations that capitalize on big data stand apart from traditional data analysis environments in three key ways:

  • They pay attention to data flows as opposed to stocks.
  • They rely on data scientists and product and process developers rather than data analysts.
  • They are moving analytics away from the IT function and into core business, operational and production functions.

Article of the Week

Prepared Minds



How ‘Big Data’ Is Different


By Thomas Davenport, Paul Barth, and Randy Bean


Big Idea: These days, lots of people in business are talking about “big data.” But how do the potential insights from big data differ from what managers generate from traditional analytics? Organizations that capitalize on big data stand apart from traditional data analysis environments in three key ways.

MIT Sloan Management Review


July 30, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
Using Social Media to Test Your Idea Before You Try to Sell It (NYTimes)
Big Idea: Big corporations are replacing focus groups with social media, but small businesses can use social media for market research, too.  Several small companies share their experiences with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Do Books Need a Beta Version? Analytics For Books Pave The Way (Fast Company)
Big Idea: Hiptype’s analytics tool for e-books lets publishers build books like software – mimicking the analytics capabilities available to Internet publishers, Television, and Mobile Apps.

Big Data Mining Shift: From Mining Transactions to Reverse-Engineering the Brain (Tibco Spotfire)
Big Idea: A useful list of the “top 5 big data sources”: Social Network profiles, Social Influencers, Activity-generated data, SaaS and Cloud applications, and Public data.

The Big Data Interview: Sanjay Mirchandani, CIO (SmartData Collective)
Big Idea: The CIO of EMC Corporation offers some interesting insights to the world of Big Data, and a few “how-to” examples that are enlightening and useful.

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending July 27, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending July 27, 2012

Jul 30, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
Can Creativity be Automated? (MIT Technology Review)
Big Idea:  It’s widely accepted that creativity can’t be copied by machines. Creativity, the thinking has been, proves just how different people are from CPUs. But now we’re learning that for some creative work, that simply isn’t true. Complex algorithms are moving into creative fields—even those as nebulous as music A&R—and proving that in some of these pursuits, humans can be displaced.

Article of the Week

Prepared Minds



Can Creativity Be Automated?


By Christopher Steiner


Big Idea: It’s widely accepted that creativity can’t be copied by machines. Creativity, the thinking has been, proves just how different people are from CPUs. But now we’re learning that for some creative work, that simply isn’t true. Complex algorithms are moving into creative fields—even those as nebulous as music A&R—and proving that in some of these pursuits, humans can be displaced.

MIT Technology Review


July 27, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
Rexer Analytics Survey – are data miners too focused on their models? (JT on EDM blog)
Big Idea: The results of Rexer Analytics’ survey of 1,300 data miners shows CRM/Marketing, Financial, and Insurance are the major commercial focus areas for data mining. Text mining is growing in popularity, while cloud-based platforms are still used by fewer than 15% of respondents.

Technology Integration and Big Data: Extracting Value (SmartData Collective)
Big Idea: An overview of three different approaches to achieving unified information access (UIA) from data in multiple silos: Federated/Virtualized, Pre-JOINed approach, and Truly Agile UIA.

2 Web Metrics Every Entrepreneur Should Know (Inc. )
Big Idea: What do visitors really do when they come to your website? These two metrics will tell you: Desired Action Percentage, and Visitor Engagement Degree.

Decision-centric organizations (JT on EDM blog)
Big Idea: Four characteristics of decision-centric organizations: Focus on Decisions, Build Decision Management Systems, Use Systems to Simplify, Streamline, and Standardize Processes, Focus on Decisions to Become More Real-Time.

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jul 20, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jul 20, 2012

Jul 24, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
BI is Dead! Long Live BI! (SmartData Collective)
Big Idea: Raden suggests a dozen best practices to move  Business Intelligence (BI) into the next century and argues the real innovation in BI is coming from smaller companies.

Article of the Week

Prepared Minds



BI is Dead! Long Live BI!


By Neil Radan


Big Idea: Raden suggests a dozen best practices to move  Business Intelligence (BI) into the next century and argues the real innovation in BI is coming from smaller companies.

Smart Data Collective


July 18, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
9 Metrics to Measure Social Media Success (Stephen Moore, Evergreen Search Blog)
Big Idea: It’s easy to measure certain metrics – followers, friends, fans, subscribers, blog posts, – but you also need to measure what happens after these early steps are taken.  This article provides nine metrics used to measure social media success.

What’s The Difference Between Data Scientists and Rocket Scientists? (Mike Kennedy, SmartData Collective)
Big Idea: There’s an important nuance about the community of analytics professionals focused on hard sciences and engineering versus those focused on business: businesses, organizations, and markets all involve interactions between people.

Your Laptop Can Now Analyze Big Data (John Pavlus, MIT Technology Review)
Big Idea: Computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon University have devised a framework for running large-scale computations for tasks such as social network or Web search analysis efficiently on a single personal computer.

What You Need To Know About Hortonworks, Splunk, and 28 Other Big Data Companies (Dave Feinleib, Forbes)
Big Idea: A snapshot of industry trends based on interviews with 30 companies in 30 days, focused on Big Data “Haves” and “Have Nots.”

Better medicine, brought to you by big data (Derrick Harris, SmartData Collective)
Big Idea: Slowly but surely, health care is becoming a killer app for big data. Whether it’s Hadoop, machine learning, natural-language processing or some other technique, folks in the worlds of medicine and hospital administration understand that new types of data analysis are the key to helping them take their fields to the next level.

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jul 13, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jul 13, 2012

Jul 16, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
Big Changes Are Ahead For The Health Care Industry, Courtesy Of Big Data (Fast Company)
Big Idea: A hospital analyzed data from 300,000 ER visits, looking for correlations among 25,000 variables, to identify the biggest factors of patient re-admission.  The hospital is addressing the relevant factors – some of which were surprising to the medical staff – to improve patient care.

Article of the Week

Prepared Minds



Big Changes Are Ahead For The Health Care Industry, Courtesy Of Big Data


By Farhad Manjoo


Big Idea: A hospital analyzed data from 300,000 ER visits, looking for correlations among 25,000 variables, to identify the biggest factors of patient re-admission.  The hospital is addressing the relevant factors – some of which were surprising to the medical staff – to improve patient care.

Fast Company


June 18, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
The Softer Side of Risk Management Means Fewer Analytics (SmartData Collective)
Big Idea: For the past 25 years, with their elegant analytical models, quantitative analysts and transplanted physicists have ruled the roost in Finance. However, as global financial flows (and financial products) get more interconnected, complex and opaque; investors and managers are finding this new paradigm terrifying.  It’s high time to supplement quantitative strategies with the softer side of risk management—before it’s too late.

The $10 Billion Idea This VC Wants to Fund (Inc.)
Big Idea: The Managing Director of Bain Capital Ventures believes the next hugely successful start-up will be a big data company providing marketing analytics services to enterprise customers.  Sales, Finance, and HR have all given rise to at least one $10-billon company over the past 20 years.  Marketing hasn’t, and Ajay Agarwal thinks it’s time.

There Is No Single Best Measure of Your Customers (HBR Blog Network)
Big Idea: A look at single-measure customer metrics, like Customer Satisfaction and Net Promoter Score, and their effectiveness at predicting business performance and customer loyalty. The implication of the research is that the growing reliance on a simple single customer metric is a very dangerous trend.

7 reasons to adopt SaaS BI…Now! (BIME Blog)
Big Idea: Data is getting bigger, tools are getting better, and more companies are moving to cloud-based BI.  Here are seven reasons why that may make sense for your business.

The Science of Building a Scalable Sales Team (HBR Blog Network)
Big Idea: An MIT-trained engineer takes over a sales team and creates a system of hiring and development based on metrics and quantitative analysis.  Here are four specific tactics that worked.

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jul 6, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jul 6, 2012

Jul 9, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
The next generation business: Data is the new platform (GigaOm)
Big Idea: When thinking about the value of the data a company collects vs. the traditional value of the product it may produce, collecting and analyzing broad categories of customer + product data is becoming equally — if not more — valuable than the product itself.

Article of the Week

Prepared Minds



 The next generation business: Data is the new platform


By Ken Oestreich


Big Idea: When thinking about the value of the data a company collects vs. the traditional value of the product it may produce, collecting and analyzing broad categories of customer + product data is becoming equally — if not more — valuable than the product itself.

GigaOm


July 5, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
The Chicago Startup That Changed How Orbitz, Gap, and Obama Collect Your Data (FastCompany)
Big Idea: Startup BrightTag says it’s found a way to overhaul the creeky cobbled-together system of tag-based data mining while giving businesses ownership of the information they glean from site visitors.  The article provides a good description of how tags are used as marketing tools and the approach BrightTag is taking.

Courting Better Health: Time to Focus on Health Analytics (SAS Blogs)
Big Idea: All eyes were on the Supreme Court’s ruling this past week, and there’s an Analytics spin regardless of your opinion of the Court’s decision.  The decision removes some of the uncertainty from the Affordable Care Act and Analytics can play a role in determining how the law will be implemented.

For ZestFinance, big data comes with big responsibility  (GigaOm)
Big Idea: Interesting case study on ZestFinance, a startup that provides short-term loans to the underserved, including an overview of their big data credit-scoring algorithm.

Harnessing Collective Intelligence in Decision Making through Big Data Analytics (SmartData Collective)
Big Idea:  A good review of big data concepts, including sources and characteristics of big data and some of the vendor platforms being utilized in today’s solutions.

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jun 29, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jun 29, 2012

Jul 2, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
Integrate Data Into Products, or Get Left Behind (HBR Blog Network)
Big Idea: “Informationalization” is a concept that has been gaining speed in recent years.  The basic idea is simple: Make existing products and services more valuable to your customers by building in more data and information.  In practice, this is more difficult – but presents exciting opportunities to forward-thinking firms.

Article of the Week

Prepared Minds



 Integrate Data into Products, or Get Left Behind


By Thomas C. Redman


Big Idea; “Informationalization” is a concept that has been gaining speed in recent years.  The basic idea is simple: Make existing products and services more valuable to your customers by building in more data and information.  In practice, this is more difficult – but presents exciting opportunities to forward-thinking firms.


HBR Blog Network


June 28, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
How Ford Calculates Driver Workload to Dial Back Distractions (Wired)
Big Idea: An interesting case study on Ford’s “driver workload estimator,” which uses real-time data from the car plus biometric data from the driver to manage infotainment and communication features to keep drivers from becoming distracted.

Hadoop pushes, pulls Big Data analytics into mainstream (Part Two) (SmartData Collective)
Big Idea: The second part of last week’s Pick of The Week, which includes a re-cap of Part 1 and a good overview of the benefits of Big Data Analytics.

Don’t Know What ‘Big Data’ Is? You’re Not Alone (Inc.)
Big Idea: A new survey shows small companies are eager to get big data – even though they’re not sure what it is. See the results plus three tips to help avoid being swept away by the avalanche of big data.

Analytics Gets the Job Done the ‘Bright’ Way (TIBCO Spotfire blog)
Big Idea: Bright.com offers a data-driven approach to job searching that combines machine learning, data science, and the largest resume study in history to create the Bright Score – used in matching potential employees with employers.

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jun 22, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jun 22, 2012

Jun 25, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
Make Decisions With Data, Not Hunches (Inc.)
Big Idea: Your pride says your hunch is on the money, but be sure the numbers tell the same story before you take a leap.  A good case study of an entrepreneur “trusting the numbers” rather than his pet idea.

Article of the Week

Prepared Minds



 Make Decision With Data, Not Hunches


By Langley Steinert


Big Idea: Your pride says your hunch is on the money, but be sure the numbers tell the same story before you take a leap.  A good case study of an entrepreneur “trusting the numbers” rather than his pet idea.


Inc.


June 21, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
The 7 Most Important Sections of a BI Business Case (Tibco Spotfire blog)
Big Idea: Data management projects have high failure rates, due to the lack of a business case that should include, at a minimum, information regarding the total cost of ownership, the potential risk of failure, and the benefits to the organization as a result of success.

Organizing for BI, Analytics and Big Data: CoE, Federated or Departmental (Business Analytics 3.0)
Big Idea: A good overview of the various ways to organize for BI and Analytics plus a good review of some key topics: analysis & reporting, core capabilities & integration, data migration, replication & movement, information delivery & visualization.

Fascination with Hadoop pushes, pulls Big Data analytics into mainstream (SmartData Collective)
Big Idea: Interest in Hadoop is enabling many organizations to surface previously untapped troves of potentially valuable corporate data.  This overview, including high-level architecture diagrams, provides a good background on this exciting technology.

The Big Data Gold Rush (Forbes)
Big Idea: The great attraction of Big Data – and one reason it’s getting so much hype – is the unlimited potential.  The same was true of the 1849 California Gold Rush; will Big Data be as big?

 

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jun 15, 2012

Editor’s Choices for Week Ending Jun 15, 2012

Jun 19, 2012 | No Comments

Article of the Week
Tweets Offer Little Value in Understanding Customer Needs (Spigit)
Big Idea: Sentiment Analysis – understanding what people are thinking based on their social media activity – is a hot area in Analytics.  But can you really gain insight based on reading people’s Tweets?  This fascinating analysis of 450 Tweets about “saving and paying for college” shows that it’s not as simple as it seems.

Article of the Week

Prepared Minds



 Tweets Offer Little Value in Understanding Customer Needs


By Ryan Wilcox


Big Idea: Sentiment Analysis – understanding what people are thinking based on their social media activity – is a hot area in Analytics.  But can you really gain insight based on reading people’s Tweets?  This fascinating analysis of 450 Tweets about “saving and paying for college” shows that it’s not as simple as it seems.


Spigit


May 19, 2012


Editor’s Choice Articles
What Facebook Knows (MIT Technology Review)
Big Idea: The company’s social scientists are hunting for insights about human behavior. What they find could give Facebook new ways to cash in on our data—and remake our view of society.

How big data helps Ancestry.com map people, places, and time (GigaOm)
Big Idea: Online genealogy service Ancestry.com is trying to become like the Amazon or Netflix of family trees. Much like those companies use customer data to recommend products or movies customers might like, Ancestry.com wants to feed its users relevant historical records and other information on ancestors without making them search through its database. And it’s taking in everything from newspaper clippings to your DNA to make this happen.

The Algorithm Didn’t Like My Essay (NYTimes)
Big Idea: The standardized tests administered by the states at the end of the school year typically have an essay-writing component, requiring the hiring of humans to grade them one by one. This spring, a competition was held to see how well algorithms submitted by professional data scientists and amateur statistics wizards could predict the scores assigned by human graders. The winners were announced  last month — and the predictive algorithms were eerily accurate.

The C-level is coming around on big data (GigaOm)
Big Idea: According to a new survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit  (commissioned by IT consulting giant Capgemini), corporate executives are starting to figure out that big data matters and how to leverage it, even if they haven’t fully come around on the concept.

Social Media Needs C-level Exec, Experts Say (CMS Wire)
Big Idea: Most business experts agree that social media is becoming a mainstream channel for brand promotion and customer engagement that marketers cannot ignore or treat as a novelty. However, some experts are now going as far as to say social media has become important enough to deserve its own dedicated C-level executive role.

Penny For Your Thoughts

Penny For Your Thoughts

Jun 11, 2012 | No Comments

I saw the news article but never thought to Tweet about a security breach on the LinkedIn social network.  Like millions of others, I have a LinkedIn account and was concerned about passwords that may have been compromised.  So I changed my password, spent about five seconds being annoyed at LinkedIn, and didn’t give it another thought.

Others, however, took to Twitter and Facebook to voice their feelings.  As this Wall Street Journal graphic illustrates, those feelings ranged from security tips to complaints to jokes.  It’s interesting to note that no indication of sample size is given; only that the results are “Based on analysis of traffic from Twitter and Facebook between June 5 and June 8.”  So I don’t know whether the data represents the feelings of 100 or 1,000,000 people.

It’s also interesting that the percentages sum to 100%, implying that each response was categorized into one of the four categories, with no overlap and no “other.”  This is a bit surprising, as I would have imagined more than four possible responses to this situation and would guess that an individual might have more than a single response.  My own response hit at least two of the categories (“Security Tips” and “Upset”) but my response might also be categorized as “Apathetic” or perhaps “Resigned Acceptance” since I simply changed my password and didn’t put forth the effort to Tweet or update Facebook.

Sentiment analysis is all the rage these days, with numerous companies developing software tools to track unstructured textual data and determine the feelings contained within.  Numerous websites are now displaying “real-time” sentiment trackers, including Boston.com’s  analysis of how people using Twitter feel about the Red Sox.  Here’s a screen-shot from Sunday night – 14 Tweets “with sentiment” and some negative feelings about the Sox after they dropped three games to the Nationals over the weekend:

Source: www.boston.com, 7:30 pm 10-Jun-12

Even the big enterprise vendors are getting into the act with SAP (Netbase, Ariba), Oracle (Vitrue, Collective Intellect), and Salesforce (Buddy Media) all announcing purchases of social media analysis companies.

Sentiment analysis may provide interesting insights as part of an integrated analytics strategy, and will continue to mature beyond these rather obvious examples: “Passwords get stolen and people are upset” or “Red Sox lose three in a row, fans are down on the team.”    But this analysis – admittedly difficult and open to interpretation – should be conducted with the same rigor as financial analysis.  New tools and machine-learning algorithms will help, as will increased experience of those interpreting and analyzing the results.

So keep working on those algorithms, don’t forget to change your password, and – if you know of a good starting pitcher, give the Red Sox a call.