Blog: Ron Powell http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/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. Copyright 2018 Fri, 25 May 2018 07:37:43 -0700 http://www.movabletype.org/?v=4.261 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Data Interpreter: A Crucial Component of Successful Analytics Recently I attended an excellent conference - The Enterprise Data World in San Diego. One of the event's keynoters was Claudia Imhoff, an internationally recognized expert on analytics, business intelligence and the architectures to support those initiatives.  She presented "The Data Interpreter - How to Become THE Trusted Advisor for Your C-Suite."

What I found most interesting about her presentation was that there is indeed a need in every organization for someone who can translate the analytics and visualizations into a format that is understandable to everyone, especially the C-suite executives.

Claudia explained that many members of an organization are likely to be unfamiliar with the complex types of visualizations that are now possible. The message that is conveyed by those visualizations is often difficult for anyone to understand - other than the data scientists who created them.  For that reason, she shared the need for the role of the data interpreter and provided advice on how to become that trusted advisor.

A compelling component of Claudia's presentation was her discussion of the data that is the foundation of today's complex analytics and visualizations. The most important task that falls to the data interpreter, according to Claudia, is vetting the analytics. All credibility is lost if the numbers or the trends are incorrect. The foundation beneath all analytics is, of course, the data. It is critical that the organization's data be trusted and readily available for analysis. When an organization has a data catalog where everyone in the organization can find the data they need to collaborate, the result is improved productivity and data that can be used with confidence.

I found it clear from Claudia's keynote address that a data catalog like Alation is a necessity for data interpreters. Alation automatically indexes your data by source. It also automatically gathers knowledge about your data. Like Google, Alation uses machine learning to continually improve human understanding.

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http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2018/05/data_interprete.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2018/05/data_interprete.php Analytics Fri, 25 May 2018 07:37:43 -0700
Gartner Insights: Building a World-Class Analytics Strategy
According to Gartner, "It's time for data and analytics leaders to become the epicenter of business value."  This statement really hit home for me because I have always been a proponent of continual learning. We must always strive to keep up with the advances in technology or our organizations won't enjoy the success made possible through digital transformation.

This year's Data & Analytics Summit in Grapevine, Texas, presented a golden opportunity to learn about advances in artificial intelligence, analytics, and business intelligence. There were countless opportunities to hear from Gartner analysts about how to build and execute a world-class analyics strategy.

With more than 3,800 attendees from all over the world, the Summit also was a great place to network with others and hear presentations from successful enterprises on a variety of analytics/business intelligence topics. Additionally,  Gartner named four key dimensions of scale that need to be mastered in order to accelerate analytical discovery. They are: trust, diversity, complexity and literacy. To read a more comprehensive review of the Summit along with key vendors providing the advanced technologies, please view the full article I wrote about this event.

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http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2018/03/gartner_insight.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2018/03/gartner_insight.php Business Intelligence Mon, 26 Mar 2018 13:01:54 -0700
New Front End for Data Science and AI JupyterCon at the New York Hilton Midtown from August 23 to August 25. This is the first Jupyter conference, and it will provide you with real-world examples of how leading data-driven companies are benefiting from this powerful platform.  ]]> http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2017/08/new_front_end_f.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2017/08/new_front_end_f.php Business Analytics Wed, 02 Aug 2017 13:22:28 -0700 GPU Technology Advances Real-Time Analytics We are seeing a major sea change in how enterprises are harnessing big data through machine intelligence and deep learning. Graphical processing units (GPUs) excel at workloads that require large amounts of mathematical calculations, simulations, streaming data and machine learning. This has resulted in a paradigm shift, enabling a whole new range of applications for autonomous vehicles, Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) and advanced analytics.

I recently interviewed Amit Vij, CEO of Kinetica, whose company has pioneered a database that uses general purpose graphical processing units that is run SIMD operations in a highly parallel fashion. Its GPU-accelerated analytics database provides real-time insights into large and streaming datasets.

Kinetica was incubated within the U. S. Army Intelligence Command and the NSA.
It started as a geospatial and temporal computational engine and slowly evolved to a highly available and distributed in memory database that is accelerated by GPUs.

Kinetica can scale to meet the needs of very computational intensive applications such as risk mitigation and fraud detection in the financial industry. Their technology can displace current technologies that utilize scale-up hardware as Kinetica leverages scale-out architectures.

According to Amit, a major value proposition is converging machine learning and deep learning into a database running in-database analytics, registering, for example, a Google TensorFlow library to Kinetica, running a machine learning model on a data table that has over one billion rows, and then persisting out a new data table. "We're seeing that as an easy workflow for an organization to use," said Amit.

GPUs are accelerating the use of analytics across a broad range of use cases and having a profound impact across a wide variety of industries. Organizations that are trying to achieve real-time analytics with large and streaming datasets should check out Kinetica.

To read my full interview with Amit Vij, click here.
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http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2017/06/gpu_technology.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2017/06/gpu_technology.php Big Data Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:49:00 -0700
Using Cloud BI to Give Greater Insights to Sales Operations At the recent Gartner Data & Analytics Summit in Grapevine, Texas, I had the opportunity to speak with Jim Slagle, vice president of Business Intelligence at Apria Healthcare. A leading provider of home respiratory services and medical equipment including oxygen therapy, inhalation therapies, sleep apnea treatment, enteral nutrition and negative pressure wound therapy, Apria Healthcare has 375 branches throughout the United States and employs more than 8,000 people. 


I learned that over the last 10 years, Apria has had various BI initiatives with mixed results. Most recently, Jim and his team implemented a full cloud-based BI solution with Domo, focusing on sales operations. The intent was not to replace their legacy BI, but to take the next step and facilitate specific sales-oriented use cases.  


At Apria, the platform for sales is designed to provide visibility and insights into sales dimensions and manage base KPIs across the sales team. Domo allows each KPI owner to see his or her KPIs in real-time. This enables them to see where they need to course correct, and identify opportunities to step in and provide direction where needed. This capability means a substantial improvement in operational efficiency as the Apria sales team can now be more agile and adapt on the fly instead of waiting until the end of the month or end of the quarter to look at the sales performance in hindsight.


Jim spoke on the importance of governance. Before they put anything into Domo, they are very meticulous about the accuracy and the sourcing of the data, making sure that the functional people who own the data are part of the process. Before the data even gets to Domo, it is governed, federated, and verified as repeatable and accurate. Jim states that data integrity is non-negotiable because if you're second-guessing the data, it is counterproductive. 


With regard to the ROI of their implementation, Jim points to the fact that with Domo, Apria hit their sales goals for 12 straight months - for the first time in Apria's history. Jim says, "With Domo, we can comparatively know how we're doing at any point of time." 


Jim believes Domo has helped them be successful because it has the all the ideal features of a modern BI solution: Domo is aligned to corporate goals, actionable, simple and intuitive.


Domo gives Apria the ability to actively track KPIs and provides the insight to know where to make adjustments to help meet budget forecasts, and this, Jim says, differentiates Apria from many of its peers in the industry. Additionally, executive-level adoption of BI makes the entire sales budgeting process easier and more effective. In short, Jim feels that after many years of searching for the right BI solution, they have found it with Domo.


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http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2017/06/using_cloud_bi.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2017/06/using_cloud_bi.php Business Intelligence Tue, 06 Jun 2017 06:00:00 -0700
Cloud BI Really Works Colony American Finance was able to increase profitability by taking their business intelligence (BI) to the cloud. The importance of empowering business users was critical, and my interview with Matthew March, CIO at Colony American Finance, highlights how efficiently he was able to work with his executive team to create an effective BI platform in just two months.

Over the years I have been discussing several keys to effective BI. These include time to market, integration with operational business processes and timely acquisition of data. In my interview with Matthew, which includes several use cases, he shares how he was able to effectively address all of these key areas by creating a BI infrastructure that encompasses the cloud. He can now provide his business users with safe and secure access to 27 different data sources so they can do their own ad hoc analysis without involving IT.

This is one of the best BI implementations I have seen, and it clearly shows how this company has reached the goal that every BI implementation hopes to achieve.  By eliminating stovepipe BI and enabling business users to effectively do ad hoc analysis themselves, Colony American Finance has realized the promise of BI -- to empower users and do it with minimal IT involvement.

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http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2016/11/xyz.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2016/11/xyz.php Business Intelligence Mon, 14 Nov 2016 08:15:49 -0700
Vector Processing Boosts Analytic Application Performance I recently conducted a podcast with Peter Boncz, Professor at Vrije University in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Peter is considered to be the father of MonetDB and vector database processing. The podcast focuses on vector processing and what it means for analytics. We also cover why vector processing is different from other database approaches, current benchmarks, application use cases and what customers are doing to benefit from vector processing. Click here to listen to this podcast now or read it here]]> http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2014/09/vector_processi.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2014/09/vector_processi.php Business Analytics Fri, 05 Sep 2014 15:00:00 -0700 Teradata Acquires Pure Play Big Data Consulting Firm Think Big Think Big Analytics. With such a shortage of Hadoop talent and expertise, the need to acquire consulting expertise and training is critical for organizations like Teradata to extend their leadership in Big Data. Four major reasons for the acquisition cited by Randy Lea, VP, Teradata Aster Data Center of Excellence - their expertise, proven delivery model, IP assets and solution frameworks. Think Big has an onshore delivery model with a solution center based in Salt Lake City. They also have the Think Big Academy that helps to educate and develop experts in Big Data and Hadoop, The full press release of the announcement can be accessed here.]]> http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2014/09/teradata_aquire.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2014/09/teradata_aquire.php Big Data Wed, 03 Sep 2014 08:06:36 -0700 DataGravity Provides a Major Paradigm Shift for Enterprise Storage DataGravity has just introduced the DataGravity Discovery Series, which redefines storage by providing storage visualization, file analysis, information discovery, activity tracking and data security. I believe that data-aware storage will provide a quantum shift in the way enterprises utilize their stored data assets and ultimately lead to a significant competitive advantage. ]]> http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2014/08/datagravity_pro.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2014/08/datagravity_pro.php Storage Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:00:09 -0700 Midmarket Surprises Revealed in Big Data Survey
To me, the biggest surprise in the survey results is that 96% of midmarket companies already have a big data project in production or plan to start one in 2014. While I know that big data can help midmarket companies in many areas from marketing to risk mitigation, I was not expecting that degree of acceptance by midmarket companies this early in the big data age.

It was also interesting to learn that midmarket companies expect their big data budgets to rise to an average of $6 million over the next two years, due in part to the success they're achieving with their current big data projects.

John also talked about Dell's recent acquisition of StatSoft and its analytics platform STATISTICA. StatSoft is also focused on midmarket space. StatSoft has been a leader in predictive analytics and provides a very cost-effective solution for companies that cannot afford large enterprise products like SAS or SPSS.

The survey results provided too much to include in this blog post, bu you can access the full survey results here.

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http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2014/05/to_learn_how_mi.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2014/05/to_learn_how_mi.php Tue, 20 May 2014 07:30:23 -0700
Data Modeling Critical for Big Data Success I recently interviewed Neil Buchwalter, senior principal product manager at CA for ERwin, and we discussed the importance of data modeling when it pertains to big data. Neil shared his views regarding how customers are utilizing ERwin from a tactical perspective. He also shared his insights on the latest release of ERwin and how it continues to address the critical needs for enterprises of all sizes. He also addresses some key best practices from a data modeling perspective for companies just beginning to integrate big data into their operations.Click here to listen to this podcast now or read it here. ]]> http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2014/04/data_modeling_c.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2014/04/data_modeling_c.php Mon, 28 Apr 2014 04:00:00 -0700 Big Data Application Solution Critical To Predicting Revenue I recently interviewed Michael Howard of C9 and we discussed how C9 is solving one of the most difficult problems facing large organizations today, which is in predicting revenue. By integrating both operational and big data sources within an application, most CFOs and financial organizations can more accurately predict future revenue numbers and mitigate earnings surprises that hamper many private and public companies today. The application is currently being utilized by some of the biggest companies today for predictive analytics - they include Google, Pandora and LinkedIn. Click here to listen to this podcast now or read it here. ]]> http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2014/01/big_data_applic.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2014/01/big_data_applic.php Big Data Wed, 08 Jan 2014 10:00:00 -0700 Big Data Partnership Focused on Agility and Simplicity I recently conducted an interview with Rich Ghiossi, VP of marketing for Treasure Data, and Suzanne Hoffman, Head of Analyst Relations for Tableau. We focused on their joint approach to simplifying and transforming the way companies derive value from big data. This approach allows the business executive to analyze big data by utilizing managed services, reducing the burden on IT departments that are focused on operational needs. In this podcast, they share their insights regarding some of their joint customers who are effectively addressing key initiatives around big data. Click here to listen to this podcast now or read it here. ]]> http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2014/01/big_data_partne.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2014/01/big_data_partne.php Big Data Fri, 03 Jan 2014 07:00:00 -0700 Trends as Big Data Evolves I recently interviewed Hannah Smalltree, and we discussed several major trends that she is seeing as a result of her work with several customers at Treasure Data. In this podcast, Hannah provides her insight into why time to value, immediate use and the cloud are of strategic importance to big data implementations. Click here to listen to this podcast now or read it here.]]> http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2013/12/government_big.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2013/12/government_big.php Big Data Thu, 19 Dec 2013 08:00:00 -0700 New Metric Defined for Big Data Projects I recently interviewed Richard Winter, and we discussed the new TCOD (Total Cost of Data) metric that he developed. In this podcast, Richard provides several examples of how this metric can be utilized to determine the best data platform for a project. This new metric is definitely needed for big data projects as the old methods really do not apply anymore. Click here to listen to this podcast now or read it here. ]]> http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2013/11/tcod_-_new_metr.php http://www.b-eye-network.com/blogs/powell/archives/2013/11/tcod_-_new_metr.php Big Data Mon, 11 Nov 2013 06:00:00 -0700