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Ron Powell

Thanks for visiting my blog. As co-founder of the BeyeNETWORK, acquired by TechTarget in 2010, I am privileged to participate in many industry-related activities as a BeyeNETWORK expert covering business intelligence and analytics. These events provide me with a unique insider perspective into the business intelligence ecosystem, its products and the vendors that provide those products. I'll be sharing that invaluable information with you through this blog, which will also be a reflection my business philosophy. And, just to make this interesting, I'll be sure to include my personal point of view on a wide range of topics and share some of the stories of people I meet in my travels.

About the author >

Ron is an independent analyst, consultant and editorial expert with extensive knowledge and experience in business intelligence, big data, analytics and data warehousing. Currently president of Powell Interactive Media, which specializes in consulting and podcast services, he is also Executive Producer of The World Transformed Fast Forward series. In 2004, Ron founded the BeyeNETWORK, which was acquired by Tech Target in 2010.  Prior to the founding of the BeyeNETWORK, Ron was cofounder, publisher and editorial director of DM Review (now Information Management). He maintains an expert channel and blog on the BeyeNETWORK and may be contacted by email at rpowell@powellinteractivemedia.com. 

More articles and Ron's blog can be found in his BeyeNETWORK expert channel.

February 2010 Archives

Given the increasing interest companies are showing in being able to analyze content from social networks, call centers, customer surveys, claims forms and sales returns, text analytics is a rapidly growing field. Text analytics products automate the time-consuming process of reading, interpreting and understanding the relevance of documents and other text content. For example, SAS Text Analytics software mines, interprets and structures information to reveal patterns, sentiment and associations. This yields invaluable insights that improve efficiency and decision making.

Posted February 17, 2010 10:36 AM
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The use of predictive analytics is key to delivering on the value of business intelligence (BI). Organizations are inundated with structured and unstructured textual data from financial reports, factory sensors, call center notes, and customer product reviews online, among other sources. Analytics help extract value from these growing volumes of data. Business analytics - which includes predictive analytics and data mining - helps organizations succeed by predicting what will happen.

The Forrester Wave: Predictive Analytics and Data Mining Solutions, Q1 2010 is now out. SAS predictive analytics and data mining solutions ranked highest among the vendors, earning top overall ranking in all three categories - current offering, strategy and market presence - including perfect scores for functionality, professional services, licensing and cost, direction, and company financial criteria.

The Forrester report stated, "SAS provides a diversified solution portfolio with comprehensive feature-rich modeling/mining and statistical analysis tools, as well as model and data governance platform, for mining complex structured and unstructured information."

Senior management, boards of directors and shareholders demand better decisions, and organizations that leverage analytics to excel at finding opportunities in this rapidly changing market will thrive.

"Using SAS analytical tools to target unique customer segments based on detailed guest transactional information, we're outperforming our competitors in these challenging economic times," said David Norton, Chief Marketing Officer at Harrah's. "Our personalized approach to marketing enables us to maintain and enhance customer loyalty over the years."

Whether optimizing operations by reducing waste and fraud, improving customer relationships or managing product quality, analytics provides a strategic advantage to organizations.

Jim Davis, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at SAS said, "SAS helps organizations make better decisions faster. SAS continues to see strong demand for our business analytics software because it adds real bottom-line value for customers."

Posted February 9, 2010 3:59 PM
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What does Syncsort's announcement (see their press release) really mean? It means that companies are going to go beyond the typical metrics from Omniture, Hitbox and Google Analytics to capture the complete experience of website visitors. The ability to mine all of the clickstream data in a data warehouse will really change the dynamics. Companies will no longer have to struggle with their own internally developed systems. What Syncsort has done for so long and so well with sorting has now been extended to clickstream analytics, and this moves processing speed to an entirely new dimension.

Posted February 3, 2010 3:02 PM
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As I stated in last week's blog (where I stated that Initiate would be the next acquisition), the MDM (master data management) landscape keeps changing. Less than two years ago, we watched as Oracle bought Hyperion. This was quickly followed by SAP's acquisition of Business Objects and IBM later followed with the acquisition of Cognos. Now it has happened again in the MDM space with Oracle buying SilverCreek, then Informatica bought Siperian and now IBM is buying Initiate. I am sure that there will be more consolidation in the information management markets because the only way for companies to increase their revenues in these tough economic times will be through acquisition as internal growth is going to be hard to come by.

As he did last week when Informatica announced its acquisition of Siperian, Bill Hewitt, president and CEO of Kalido, again had a comment about this acquisition. Hewitt said:

"IBM continues to acquire companies in order to fill out industry-specific solutions, and this acquisition is no different. By acquiring a niche vendor like Initiate, they bolster their portfolio of industry-specific tools that help integrate data, but do little to provide a stronger information management platform for their customers. This acquisition will be delivered like so many others, with dozens of IBM global services consultants to 'knit' the patchwork of tools together.

"What neither Informatica nor IBM really understand despite these acquisitions is that customers are looking for solutions that deliver not only high quality data but the processes to maintain it - in short, data governance."

Posted February 3, 2010 11:48 AM
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