Data Warehousing and Analytics are Changing Fast. You Need to Keep Up…

April 25, 2014

Relational database management systems (RDBMSs) have had a dominant role in data warehousing for the last 20+ years. Many software architectures, modelling techniques, organizations’ hardware and software investments, RDBMS and Business Intelligence (BI) vendors’ wellbeing and peoples’ skills and careers have been based on that fact. Now things are changing. The world of Data Warehousing and Analytics is getting more complex – due to the demands of Big Data and the emergence of new technologies, such as the Hadoop framework. However, it is important to say that these new technologies should be seen as complementary to existing and future RDBMS investments.

In his Harvard Business Review article “Preparing for Analytics 3.0” Tom Davenport talks about Analytics 3.0. He characterizes traditional BI and reporting applications (on RDBMSs) as Analytics 1.0, the analysis of large, fast moving, external, and unstructured data from new data sources (on Hadoop and NoSQL) as Analytics ...

Introducing a Big Data Maturity Model

April 16, 2014

You are unlikely to achieve strategic, organization wide, success in leveraging Big Data overnight. It more likely that will be a journey for you and your organization that may last several years. You will need to build up your organization’s Big Data strategy, skills and capabilities in stages. And demonstrate the business value every step of the way. So, if you are going on a journey you need a map to help you see where you are now (the “As Is” state), where you want to get to (the “To Be” state) and how to plan your journey. A Maturity Model (in combination with the Eight Building Blocks of Big Data framework) provides the basis for creating such a road map. It is a another tool that you can use to bring your peers up to speed, stimulate discussion, develop consensus on a shared vision and plan and finally to ...

Introducing the Eight Building Blocks of Big Data

April 9, 2014

One of the greatest challenges facing a Big Data initiative is determining the business value. And closely associated with that vital task is the challenge of getting the business properly involved in, and preferably leading, the initiative. In talking with various organizations about Big Data I typically find that the IT people are very interested to get up to speed on what Big Data is all about, but when I ask “who here is from the business? And what are the business challenges that a Big Data initiative could help with?”, then I get blank looks. Very often, there is no one present from the business and hence there is no one who can really articulate a business problem that needs solving or what business value that solution would bring to the organization.

It’s obvious that there is a issue. And that this will be a significant barrier to making progress. ...

The State of Maturity of MDM

March 31, 2014

As you’ve probably worked out by now, an organization will never completely finish MDM and the MDM software market is still only part of the way through its journey towards maturity. We are past MDM’s adolescent years and well into its adulthood, though probably a way off middle age. And I’d probably better not cause offense to anyone by discussing MDM and the menopause (male or female). But, overall, there is still much to do and much to learn in MDM land.

I offer a few data points to depict what I see as the state of MDM maturity amongst people and organizations. We can come back to the MDM software market at a later date.

When I was at Gartner we used to do surveys ahead of our MDM Summits (and I’m sure that they still do those surveys). Year after year around 45-50% of people said that they were beginners, ...

Can Big Data Give Us Internal Insights?

March 13, 2014

What if we could turn the power of Big Data (e.g., analyzing petabytes of data to understand customer needs like EBay does) on our own organizations?  For example, what if instead of a search engine we had a confusion engine — something that would show areas of our organizations where processes and/or people are confused?

Pundits offer that our mobile phones are giving us a new found ability to track our lives.  The tools for tracking our behaviors, bodily functions, and wellness are getting better, cheaper, and more diverse.

Taking a closer look at our data.

What if we could do the same thing with the structured and unstructured data of our organizations?

Don’t our organizations also deserve health and wellness given new found abilities to glean insights from our activities?

Greg Merkle, Big Data expert and ...

Blessed are the Mid-Markets, for They Shall Scale Big Data

March 7, 2014

In a parody of Start Trek, Silicon Valley technology companies describe their business goal asSMB Guru “Scale, the final frontier…”  Mid-market companies, defined as those having 100-2500 employees, may indeed provide an opportunity to emerging technology vendors to scale their businesses.  According to Techaisle, a market research firm, these 800,000 global companies spend $300B on IT and are sought after by technology vendors big and small.  In the last decade, technologies such as Cloud, SAAS, and Virtualization have reached scale with a large number of mid-market companies as early adopters.  Intuit,, NetSuite, and Amazon are just a few examples of companies who have relied upon mid-market companies as a key building block for their business.

What does this mean for Big Data?  To find out, Carpe Datum Rx spoke to “SMB Guru,” Anurag Agrawal, CEO of Techaisle and ...

Big Data Needs a Good Storyteller …Like Gary Vaynerchuck

February 28, 2014

In an episode of Mad Men, Don Draper talks about pitching the Kodak Carousel.  “Technology is a glittering lure, but there is the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash, if they have a sentimental bond with the product…  Nostalgia.  It’s delicate but potent.  Switch it on.”

Combine the storytelling prowess of Don Draper with the high-pitched vitriol of Jim Cramer and add a dose of emotional intelligence to get Gary Vaynerchuck,  social media guru, best-selling author, wine librarian, and marketer par excellence of the internet age.  Gary Vaynerchuck rose to prominence in social media a few years ago with his video log, wine library tv, which he used to grow his family wine store into a mulit-million dollar business.  He currently runs VaynerMedia, a social media strategy and production company.

Gary is an avid supporter of the use of ...

Business Perspective Lessons from the One-eyed Stag

February 21, 2014

Obsolete KPIs can be Lethal

One-eyed Stag and KPIs

In the Aesopian fable of the one-eyed stag, a deer overcomes his visual handicap by grazing on a cliff near the sea with his good eye facing the land.  Since all his known dangers are on land, this keeps him safe from predators for a very long time – until he is killed by a hunter in a boat.

The relevance of our KPIs can make or break our business.  KPIs are often defined as static metrics for an enterprise and can easily become outdated. Economic uncertainty and competitive pressures are prompting questions on the validity of KPIs and performance management processes.  To stay competitive requires a process of continually validating metrics with the business environment.

Another common challenge with KPIs is that there are too many of them.  Modern ...

LumenData’s Acquisition of is a Win-win

January 9, 2014 joined the LumenData family in December 2013.  Check out this exclusive interview with’s co-founder, Andy Bartley, post-acquisition.

by Ajay Ohri, January 8th, 2014

We have covered before on ProgrammableWeb and it is an exciting API using machine learning algorithms to deliver predictive analytics. algorithms.ioIt has specialized in classifying streaming data using machine learning. was acquired in December 2013 by LumenData, and we have an exclusive interview with co-founder Andy Bartley post the acquisition.

Programmable Web (PW)- What are the reasons for you going for an acquisition in 9 months?

Andy Bartley (AB)- The company had reached an inflection point.  It needed to add several competencies in a compressed timeframe in order to capitalize on the market opportunities we were seeing.  Raising outside capital and building organically just wasn’t an option ...

Suggested Reading

June 18, 2013

Article:  “Data Migration is hard to do

With the great variety of ways an address—or even just the state alone—can be written and formatted, data cleansing can become challenging, even with available tools to ease the process.  What considerations need to be made before data migration can take place?