Sensors everywhere. Infinite storage. Clouds of processors. Our ability to capture, warehouse, and understand massive amounts of data is changing science, medicine, business, and technology. As our collection of facts and figures grows, so will the opportunity to find answers to fundamental questions. Because in the era of big data, more isn’t just more. More is different.
This month’s Wired magazine carries one of the most important growing concerns of the scientific community, the uncontrollable growth of data. This growth of data in many directions is nearly killing theories as everything is becoming more and more data controlled.
If you are a BI entusiast or not, this month’s Wired cover story will challenge all your predictions about science and technology, even if you have a petabyte of data to support it !! Read it, like, right now !!
Some progress on the healthcare BI Apps. Read more from dBusiness News.
In the newly released benchmark report “Business Intelligence in Healthcare: Have Providers Found a Cure?,” Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company , found that Best-in-Class organizations achieved a 15% increase in patient satisfaction scores through the use of Business Intelligence (BI) and analytical tools. This study collected data from nearly 100 healthcare providers and found that these organizations are increasingly deploying BI tools in the hospital in order to combat the challenges of rising healthcare costs and the pressing need to enhance patient care.
Prior Aberdeen research revealed that healthcare organizations have been hesitant to deploy analytical tools, lagging behind industry norms in both adoption and maturity of BI implementations. The challenge many hospitals face is making sense of a tangled web of disparate back-end data sources. Showing a lucid connection between analytical capability and enhanced quality of care is often a complicated task. Through the use of BI and analytical tools, healthcare organizations have been able to leverage financial and clinical data in order to better manage patient flow, streamline their operations, and deliver an elevated standard of patient care. Best-in-Class organizations have been able to achieve these performance improvements through an efficient combination of organizational capability and technology enablers such as HIS (Hospital Information Systems). Drawing on a solid foundation of organizational capability the Best-in-Class were able to drive an 11% reduction in overtime incurred, a stark contrast to all other organizations that experienced a 7% increase in overtime incurred.
Pentaho, the commercial open source alternative for business intelligence (BI), has announced the availability of a new Pentaho iPhone application, saying that it provides native iPhone web navigation of Pentaho BI content.
The integration was developed using the iUI project, currently hosted on Google Code. According to company officials, the new iPhone BI extension from Pentaho offers an intuitive way for business users to access and navigate business intelligence information.
“The demand to provide BI where business users operate has changed significantly as mobile devices like Apple iPhone have simplified business computing dramatically,” said Mark Smith, CEO & executive vice president of research at Ventana Research.
The Oracle Business Indicators applications will take data from Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition Plus (OBIEE) and Oracle Business Intelligence Applications, Fusion Edition and push it to authorised iPhone users, allowing managers to receive alerts based on pre-defined parameters.
The applications are available from the Apple App Store, and are free to Oracle business intelligence customers. The application will provide data on business intelligence metrics in either graph or table form.
Open source software company SnapLogic has introduced a version of its data integration framework that’s tuned for Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN).com’s Elastic Compute Cloud, or EC2, Web service. It gives developers and IT departments the option of doing their data integration work in Amazon’s cloud rather than on their own servers.
Two-year-old SnapLogic’s framework consists of a design tool, metadata repository, server, and connector modules for Apache, Oracle (NSDQ: ORCL), Salesforce (NYSE: CRM), and other data sources. In May, the company released SnapLogic 2.0 as a VMware appliance. The framework is available free under the General Public License (v2) or via two subscription license options with various levels of support. InformationWeek profiled SnapLogic as our Startup Of The Week on May 31.
In the “Advanced Analytics” camp, IDC’s stats show that Microsoft, SPSS and SAS were the fastest-growing vendors among the top five with 20.0%, 17.8% and 15.2% sales increases, respectively (see chart at left). Visual Numerics grew 9.3% and Teradata treaded water with 3.0% growth. Mind you, SAS and SPSS are in a league of their own with $440 million and $205 million in revenue, respectively, while all the others were in the Single-A, sub-$50 million ballpark.
SAS has plenty to crow about in IDC’s stats, so it has once again purchased rights to distribute an excerpt of the report as a free download. Unfortunately, this year’s excerpt only covers the top-five vendors in each category (last year’s excerpt covered 21 BI tools vendors and 13 analytics vendors). If you’re prepared to pay $3,500, you can purchase the complete “Worldwide Business Intelligence Tools 2007 Vendor Shares” report, which details sales among the top-15 vendors in BI in 2007 — a list that adds MicroStrategy, Information Builders, Actuate, QlikTech, Panorama Software, IBM (without Cognos), and TIBCO to the companies mentioned above.
Microsoft is buying Powerset, developer of what it hopes is a smarter way to search the Web. Powerset uses so-called “semantic Web” technology that brings up results based on an understanding of a word’s meaning and the context of its use. That’s in contrast to the method used by the major search engines, which work primarily by matching words in queries to those on Web pages. Microsoft announced the acquisition July 1 on a blog, saying it shares Powerset’s vision “to take search to the next level by adding understanding on the intent and meaning behind the words in searches and webpages.” News of Microsoft’s interest in Powerset was reported June 26 by industry blog VentureBeat. According to the article, Microsoft has offered more than $100 million to acquire the company. The purchase price was not disclosed.
The purchase could give Microsoft a big leg up in efforts to catch Google. Powerset and other semantic search engines outperform Google in some cases (BusinessWeek.com, 9/17/07). They respond particularly well when users want detailed answers to questions in specific subject categories for which there are a lot of Web pages with similar keywords, such as health or law. “Semantic search takes it to the third level,” says Eric Tilenius, an early investor in Powerset and Kango, which applies semantic search technology to travel.