Blog: Wayne Eckerson http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/ Welcome to Wayne's World, my blog that illuminates the latest thinking about how to deliver insights from business data and celebrates out-of-the-box thinkers and doers in the business intelligence (BI), performance management and data warehousing (DW) fields. Tune in here if you want to keep abreast of the latest trends, techniques, and technologies in this dynamic industry. Copyright 2014 Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:00:16 -0700 http://www.movabletype.org/?v=4.261 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Logi Analytics Reinvents Visual DIscovery For many years, Logi Analytics carved out a profitable niche selling an easy-to-use report and dashboard development platform to information technology (IT) professionals. But its recent foray into analytics--with Logi Vision, a visual discovery tool that first shipped in January--targets business analysts. Staying true to its commitment to ease of use, Logi Vision brings a fresh new perspective to analysis by making heavy use of heuristics. The tool makes it easy for business analysts to shape, analyze, and visualize data without IT assistance. For instance, the tool automatically identifies data types, concatenates related fields into a single data object (e.g. city, region, and country into location), rearranges columns based on relevance ratings, and suggests visualizations based on the contours of the data, among other things. http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/08/logi_analytics.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/08/logi_analytics.php Tue, 26 Aug 2014 10:00:16 -0700 MetaScale Offers an OnRamp to Hadoop If you're a big data trailblazer, one way to monetize your risk is to offer your services to those following in your footsteps. This is exactly what Sears Holding Corporation has done. In 2012, Sears Holdings formed MetaScale to offer big data consulting and managed services to large companies in any industry, although it has deep expertise in retail. MetaScale runs a Big Data Center of Excellence with big data experts who help companies install, implement, and manage Hadoop, NoSQL, and other big data tools and systems. Unlike big data vendors that also offer consulting and managed services, MetaScale is vendor neutral. It can piece together components from multiple vendors and Apache projects into an optimal environment based on a client's unique requirements. It also helps customers conduct proofs of concept, customize a solution to their needs, and manage production environments on a 7x24 basis, either at the customer's site or MetaScale's own hosting center. http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/08/metascale_offer.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/08/metascale_offer.php Sat, 23 Aug 2014 06:24:49 -0700 Dimensional Insight: The Best Kept Secret in BI One of the best, least known business intelligence (BI) vendors is Dimensional Insight. Founded in 1989, the company has done what few BI vendors have achieved in the past 25 years: maintain a growing base of staunchly satisfied customers. Without much fanfare, the Boston-based company has amassed 2600 customers in more than 30 countries, generating about $20 million a year in revenue. According to most independent customer satisfaction surveys, such as those from the Business Application Research Center (BARC) in Germany and Dresner Advisory Service, Dimensional Insights sits at the top of the pack in terms of overall customer ratings. http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/08/dimensional_ins.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/08/dimensional_ins.php Mon, 18 Aug 2014 15:50:25 -0700 SnapLogic is Ready for the Future Data integration is bread-and-butter technology. Never glamorous or sexy, it holds the key to opening data to business users. Until recently, most data was tabular, stored in relational databases, and pumped in batch from one system to another. Today, data is multi-structured and increasingly managed by cloud applications. Data integration platforms that don't keep up with the times are doomed to an early obsolescence. One data integration that is determined to stay relevant among changing tides of data management is SnapLogic. The San Mateo, California-based firm offers a cloud-based data integration platform that runs both on premise and in the cloud so it can connect any application or data source either inside or outside the firewall. The design, management, and monitoring tools run as multi-tenant applications from HTML5-based browsers and almost any SnapLogic functionality can be triggered by events or scheduled jobs via its REST API. Moreover, the product manages multi-structured data using JSON rather than forcing data flow through a tabular format. http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/08/snaplogic_is_re.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/08/snaplogic_is_re.php Fri, 15 Aug 2014 15:26:02 -0700 Platfora Brings BI to Hadoop Platfora is a three-year old company that is designed to provide real-time, ad hoc analysis of data stored in Hadoop. While most Hadoop enthusiasts are embracing real-time SQL query engines for Hadoop, such as Cloudera Impala, Platfora goes several steps further: it is a full-stack BI tool that comes with data wrangling, ad hoc visual discovery, and analytics, such as segmentation and behavioral analysis. Best of all, Platfora is equipped to blend all types of data, including transaction data from operational systems, interaction data from emails, text documents, and call centers, and machine data from Web and application servers and sensor networks. Platfora is an in-memory, distributed application that runs on Hadoop clusters, either on premise or in the cloud. Developers or highly skilled business use a visual design environment to create "Lenses"--personal data sets with a visual front-end that contain aggregated data from Hadoop. The Lenses run in Platfora's in-memory engine, providing subsecond query response time, allowing business users to analyze data at the speed of thought. lets business users pull in more granular data stored in Hadoop, if needed. http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/08/platfora_brings.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/08/platfora_brings.php Fri, 15 Aug 2014 14:28:15 -0700 X15 Software Tackles Log Data at Scale Silicon Valley startup X15 Software recently shipped a data analytics solution designed to help companies capture, store, and analyze petabytes of machine-generated log files from Web and application servers, among other things. The on-premises solution which runs on the Hadoop Distributed File System provided by major Hadoop vendors, such as MapR, Cloudera, and Hortonworks, supports real-time SQL queries against streaming log data. Called X15 Enterprise, the big data solution competes against log management tools, such as Splunk, which must first pull data from Hadoop into a proprietary engine to index and query the data. And since search-based tools don't leverage SQL, this limits their ability to query both traditional relational data and semi-structured log data in a single pass. http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/08/x15_software_ta.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/08/x15_software_ta.php Wed, 13 Aug 2014 14:35:42 -0700 Need Hadoop-based Analytics in the Cloud? Try Qubole Qubole is a new breed of analytic software company that runs on Hadoop in the public cloud. The ideal customer is one that already runs a lot of applications in the cloud and wants to accelerate the time it takes to make big data available to business analysts and data scientists. Qubole's big competitor is Amazon Web Services and its Elastic MapReduce (EMR) offering, which provides the Hadoop platform as a cloud-based service. Unlike EMR, Qubole was designed from scratch to support queries and analytics. Also, the service is geared t business analysts and data scientists, not Java and other developers, so it is easier to use. http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/07/need_hadoop-bas.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/07/need_hadoop-bas.php Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:52:49 -0700 ScaleOut Software Sits at the Nexus of Operational and Analytical Computing ScaleOut Software provides an in-memory data grid that primarily provides fast reads/writes for high-speed operational applications, such as e-commerce, reservation systems, credit card processing, equity trading, smart grids, and cable network streaming. There are a lot of competitors in the space, such as Oracle Coherence, but ScaleOut and Apache Spark differentiates itself by supporting analytics on live, operational data, among other things. http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/07/scaleout_softwa.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/07/scaleout_softwa.php Sat, 19 Jul 2014 12:45:36 -0700 BI Survey 14 is the Largest Survey of BI Tool Usage in the World There is no better source for the trends in the use of business intelligence (BI) tools than the BI Survey conducted annually by the German-based research house, BARC. The BI Survey, now in its 14th year, is the world's largest independent survey of BI users, with more than 2,500 survey takers around the globe. This summer, I will help BARC's research staff evaluate the results of the BI Survey, which closes in a few weeks (late June.) The BI Survey tracks customer attitudes towards more than two dozen BI products. The published report discusses key purchasing and usage patterns, including total cost of ownership, market and customer penetration, query performance, support quality, business benefits, and technical challenges, among other things. http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/06/bi_survey_14_wo.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/06/bi_survey_14_wo.php Mon, 09 Jun 2014 09:05:50 -0700 The Keys to Scorecard Success A balanced scorecard is a powerful tool for aligning an organization. It displays the metrics that represent the key drivers of long-term performance. In many ways, it's a visual representation of an organization's strategy, tailored to every department and individual. Unfortunately, most organizations are operational in nature, not strategic. They focus on day-to-day tasks required to ship products on time and keep customers happy. While most organizations want to take a long-term view of the business, most are too busy fighting fires to focus on the big picture. And their corporate culture and funding processes undermine scorecard initiatives before the first metrics are even published. To ensure the success of a balanced scorecard, organizations need to excel at managing change, or rather, getting an organization (and the individuals that comprise it) to change habits for addressing and solving problems. Rather than address the symptoms of issues, a scorecard requires organizations to identify the core drivers of change that lead to new levels of performance. http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/05/the_keys_to_sco.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/05/the_keys_to_sco.php Tue, 13 May 2014 12:24:40 -0700 Hadoop Will Not Kill the Data Warehouse Hadoop advocates know they've struck gold. They've got new technology that promises to transform the way organizations capture, access, analyze, and act on information. (See Big Data Part II: "Hadoop 2 Changes Everything.") Market watchers estimate the potential revenue from big data software and systems to be in the tens of billions of dollars. So, it's not surprising that Hadoop advocates are eager to discard the old to make way for the new. But in their haste, some Hadoop advocates have plied a lot of misinformation about so-called "traditional" systems, especially the data warehouse. They seem to think that by bashing the data warehouse, they'll accelerate the pace at which people adopt Hadoop and the "data lake". (See "Big Data Part I: Beware of the Alligators in the Data Lake"). This is a counterproductive strategy for a couple of reasons. http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/04/big_data_part_i.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/04/big_data_part_i.php Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:41:00 -0700 To Explore Hadoop, Find a Hunk Say you have a ton of data in Hadoop and you want to explore it. But you don't want to move it into another system. (After all, it's big data so why move it?) But you don't want to go through the hassle and expense of creating table schemas in Hadoop to support fast queries. (After all, this is not supposed to be a data warehouse.) So what do you do?? You Hunk it. That is, you search it using Splunk software that creates virtual indexes in Hadoop. With Hunk, you don't have to move the data out of Hadoop and into an outboard analytical engine (including Splunk Enterprise). And you don't need to create table schemas in advance or at run time to guide (and limit) queries along predefined pathways. With Hunk, you point and go. It's search for Hadoop, but more scalable and manageable than open source search engines, such as SOLR, according to Splunk officials. http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/03/to_explore_hado.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/03/to_explore_hado.php Mon, 17 Mar 2014 19:22:36 -0700 Big Data Part I: Beware of the Alligators in the Data Lake As silver bullets go, the "data lake" is a good one. Pitched by big data advocates, the data lake promises to speed the delivery of information and insights to the business community without the hassles imposed by IT-centric data warehousing processes. It almost seems too good to be true; and it is. With a data lake, you simply dump all your data, both structured and unstructured, into the lake (i.e. Hadoop) and then let business people "distill" their own parochial views within it using whatever technology they feel are best suited to the task (i.e. SQL or NoSQL, disk-based or in-memory databases, MPP or SMP.) And you create enterprise views by compiling and aggregating data from multiple local views. The mantra of the data lake is think global, act local. Not bad! http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/03/beware_of_the_a.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/03/beware_of_the_a.php Wed, 12 Mar 2014 16:49:04 -0700 RedRock BI Rocks the Cloud The cloud eliminates the need to buy, install, and manage hardware and software, significantly reducing the cost of implementing BI solutions while speeding delivery times. One new company hoping to cash in on the movement to run BI in the cloud is RedRock BI, which offers a complete BI stack in the cloud starting at $2,500 a month for up to 2TB of data. The service runs on Amazon EC2, leverages Amazon RedShift, and comes with a single-premise cloud upload utility, 120 hours of Syncsort's ETL service, a five-user license to the Yellowfin BI tools, and five hours of RedRock BI support. http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/03/redrock_bi_expl.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/03/redrock_bi_expl.php Tue, 04 Mar 2014 17:21:44 -0700 SiSense Prism: The New Kid on the Visual Discovery Block Data visualization vendor Tableau Software is the darling of the BI industry these days, giving daily doses of heartburn to established BI vendors. Yet, Tableau is being chased by newer vendors with innovative technologies that offer the promise of even faster, better, and cheaper BI for business users and analysts. One such vendor is SiSense, an Israeli firm now based in New York City, which launched in 2010 after six years of stealth development. Like Tableau, SiSense Prism is a Windows desktop tool that users can download and install from the internet. But unlike Tableau, SiSense was designed from scratch with a scalable, memory-optimized columnar database that can comfortably handle terabytes of data and dozens of concurrent queries. http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/02/sisense_prism_t.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/eckerson/archives/2014/02/sisense_prism_t.php Thu, 20 Feb 2014 11:49:53 -0700