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 ...

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, 

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 ...

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 ...

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?

Setting up Effective Data Governance Councils

June 3, 2013

The Importance of Data Governance Council

Data Governance covers an expansive array of different business aspects, including technology, data, policies, accountability, and business units, so the definition of Data Governance is only limited by the scope that the end users or participants set.  Additionally, Data Governance is very collaborative in nature due to enforcement or consensus of data governance rules, standards, policies, processes, etc., that define scope.  When combined, enforcement and consensus ensure appropriate participation at all levels of the management team within a Data Governance Council; this is critical to the success of Data Governance.

Unfortunately, for every success story for Data Governance, there is a significantly high number of failures.  The fundamental reason for these failures is that executives are not recognizing the financial value of Data Governance programs.  In the case of most projects, executives stay informed and collaborate through their project managers.  With Data ...

Suggested Reading

February 28, 2013

Article:  “Has Big Data Reached Its Moment of Disillusionment?

After a quick ascent to the Peak of Inflated Expectation in Gartner’s Hype Cycle, signs are showing that Big Data is now descending down to the Trough of Disillusionment.  What does Big Data need to make it to the Slope of Enlightenment and Plateau of Productivity?