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Posts tagged ‘Acxiom’

21
Jul

Consumerization of BI: Data Visualization Competency Center


heatmap-pgWhat do users want? Self-service, interactive analytics with all kinds of datasets with instant response times, no waiting.

Today there is a strong move towards “Consumerization of BI” as business users are demand the same speed, and ease of use from their enterprise applications as their at-home software.

Consumerization of BI (“data at your fingertips”) means:

  • Help employees see and understand data
  • Helping employees gain insight into their data using simple drag-and-drop operations to solve business problems
  • Ability to quickly change filters and query conditions and conduct top down analysis via drill down
  • Make analytics fast, easy, interactive, and most importantly – useful

In every major corporation there is a renewed push to industrialize and improve data visualization and reporting capabilities.

The challenge is not in procuring the next greatest tool or platform but how to organize the people, process and assets effectively to create value, reduce training and support costs.  In other words, how to facilitate and create a flexible operating model for data mining and visualization delivery that provides discipline at the core while giving the business the agility that they need to make decisions or meet client needs?

Decision making is a core business activity that requires facts and insights. Slow, rigid systems are no longer useful enough for sales, marketing and other business users or even IT teams that support them. Competitive pressures and new sources of data are creating new requirements. Users are demanding the ability to answer their questions quickly and easily.

So the new target state is to empower business users along the Discover, Decide and Do lifecycle:

  • Discover new insights by rapidly accessing and interrogating data in ways that fit how people naturally think and ask questions.
  • Decide on best actions by publishing dashboards, collaborating with others, discussing insights and persuading others through data presented in an interactive application (“app”) rather than in a static view.
  • Do what is best at each decision point with confidence, based on the consensus that develops when new data is aggregated and explored with multiple associations and different points of view. Teams can take action more rapidly and move projects forward more effectively when everyone understands the data underlying decisions.

The challenge for business users is data discovery and ease-of-use. They want to focus on business questions that require aggregation and visualization. They want the interactive ability to quickly change filters and query conditions.

The challenge for infrastructure and application teams in every corporation is to deliver new easy-to-use platforms to their business partners quickly and consistently while maintaining governance and control.

To meet both sets of requirements, best practice firms are creating Data Mining and Visualization Competency Center or Centers of Excellence (DV-CoE) to ensure that the people, process and technology investments are not duplicated and addressed in a way that maximizes ROI and enhances IT-Business partnership. I have seen many cases where not having a proper structure leads to redundant projects and sub-optimal results. Read more »

29
Mar

Bitcoin: Mad, Bad but not a Fad


Do Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies provide opportunities for innovative entreprenebitcoins-1urs to create real value? Bitcoin has proponents and naysayers. What is it really about?

The 18th century philosopher Voltaire, a proponent of the separation of church and state, is known to have said that the Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy, nor Roman nor an empire. We could say the same about Bitcoin as a virtual cryptocurrency.

Cryptology has an important role to play in Bitcoin, but that is not its defining feature. Currency is historically built on the recognition of national boundaries and their associated political constructs. Moreover, the words “crypto” and “fiat” are not opposites.

Read more »

11
Jun

NSA PRISM – The Mother of all Big Data Projects


Prism9As a data engineer and scientist, I have been following the NSA PRISM raw intelligence mining program with great interest.  The engineering complexity, breadth and scale is simply amazing compared to say credit card analytics (Fair Issac) or marketing analytics firms like Acxiom.

Some background… PRISM – “Planning Tool for Resource Integration, Synchronization, and Management” – is a top-secret data-mining “connect-the-dots” program aimed at terrorism detection and other pattern extraction authorized by federal judges working under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).  PRISM allows the U.S. intelligence community to look for patterns across multiple gateways across a wide range of digital data sources.

PRISM is unstructured big data aggregation framework — audio and video chats, phone call records, photographs, e-mails, documents,  financial transactions and transfers, internet searches, Facebook Posts, smartphone logs and connection logs – and relevant analytics that enable analysts to extract patterns. Save and analyze all of the digital breadcrumbs people don’t even know they are creating.

The whole NSA program raises an interesting debate about “Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes.” (“But who will watch the watchers.”) Read more »

18
Mar

Making Money on Predictive Analytics – Tools, Consulting and Content


Here are just a few examples of analytics at work

  • Target predicts customer pregnancy from shopping behavior, thus identifying prospects to contact with offers related to the needs of a newborn’s parents.
  • Tesco (UK) annually issues 100 million personalized coupons at grocery cash registers across 13 countries. Predictive analytics increased redemption rates by a factor of 3.6.
  • Netflix predicts which movies you will like based on what you watched.
  • Life insurance companies can predicts the likelihood an elderly insurance policy holder will die within 18 months in order to trigger end-of-life counseling.
  • Con Edison predicts energy distribution cable failure, updating risk levels that are displayed on operators’ screens three times an hour in New York City.

Now you are interested.  So what about your organization. Do you have the right toolset, dataset, skillset and mindset for analytics? Do you want to enable end users to get access to their data without having to go through intermediaries?

The challenge facing managers in every industry is not trivial… how do you effectively derive insights from the deluge of data? How do you structure and execute analytics programs (Infrastructure + Applications + Business Insights) with limited budgets?

Read more »

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