Monthly Archives: March 2009

Next Generation Localized Advertising Technology

ARRIS (Nasdaq: ARRS), a global video, data, voice and next-generation advertising technology supplier and OpenTV Corp. (Nasdaq: OPTV), a leading software and technology provider of advanced digital television and advertising solutions, announced that they will present a joint demonstration of their next generation linear television ad platform at the upcoming NCTA Cable Show, April 1-3 in Washington, D.C. The collaboration is designed to make TV advertising more relevant, accountable and dynamic and revolutionizes traditional ad insertion technologies.

From Press Release.

Semantic Intelligence – NextGen BI

A must read about Semantic Intelligence, the next generation business intelligence. Very similar to the concept of semantic web.

Semantic intelligence provides early identification and analysis of consumer sentiment, purchasing trends, market deals, and competitive information – and uncovers this data not only from within a organization’s network, but also from the most unstructured corners of the Web. You may be thinking that a normal Google search can uncover any Web-based information, but unlike simple keyword search, semantic intelligence uncovers the meaning the words express, in their proper context, no matter the number (singular or plural), gender (masculine or feminine), verb tense (past, present, or future), or mode (indicative or imperative).

For example, say you’re a chef and you’re looking for details on how to make soup with healthier ingredients, so, you keyword search “apple stock.” Try it right now – you’ll get dozens upon dozens of pages about Apple, the company. If you try to narrow the search and type, “apple stock and cook,” you will still get hundreds of erroneous search results about Tim Cook and Apple, the company.

Semantic intelligence incorporates morphological, logical, grammatical, and natural language analysis that translates into higher precision and recall when searching for information. By providing information in the requested context and form, semantic intelligence helps organizations strategize, analyze, and make predictions because you’re getting the correct data – and in these economic times, having the right foresight can save a business.

Microsoft Study – SMBs Using Tech to Cut Costs

The “Microsoft SMB Insight Report” reflects the insight of Small Business Specialists from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Brazil. The following are some of Microsoft’s key findings on the technologies most likely to drive growth and profitability for SMBs in 2009:

— Fifty percent of the surveyed Small Business Specialists identified virtualization or IT consolidation through a small or midsize server as the technology most likely to reduce operating costs.
— The Small Business Specialists expect a 20 percentage point increase this year in the number of SMBs that use software as a service.
— More than 50 percent of the Small Business Specialists considered customer relationship management (CRM: 34.05, 0, 0%), virtualization or IT consolidation through a small or midsize server as the best investment for maximizing business growth in a down economy.
— Nearly 40 percent expect an increased interest in business intelligence and identified it as a critical tool for helping improve a customer’s experience and increase loyalty.
— More than half of the surveyed Small Business Specialists anticipate an increase in the number of SMB remote workers, and nearly 60 percent expect that the shift to more remote workers also will lead to bigger roles and more responsibilities for those individuals working remotely.

The key here is the increased interest in business intelligence which I think makes total sense given the state of business. From the PRNewswire[Fox]

DW Appliances – Primer

TDWI has a great article on Data Warehouse Appliances which includes all-in-all solution for enterprises. Neat Read.

In the BI world, the data warehousing appliance extends this metaphor to the enterprise data center with the vision of a high-performance database system that satisfies business intelligence (decision support) requirements and includes the server hardware, network interconnect, database software, and selected load, workload, scheduling, and administration tools needed for quick installation, loading, and ongoing monitoring.

Enterprise data warehousing appliances are popular because they get the job done in many data scenarios. However, in spite of their significant success, data warehousing appliances are not a one-size-fits all proposition, nor, as any vendor will tell you, are they appropriate for every workload profile or data warehousing challenge. A diversity of appliance vendors have emerged, including appliance offerings from the large, established information technology (IT) stalwarts such as HP, IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft. Teradata objects to be called an “appliance,” though it also objects to not being named as an IT stalwart that is relevant to the appliance market.

Best-of-breed innovators continue to contribute to market dynamics. Key differentiators — about which, as a prospective buyer of a data warehousing appliance, you should examine –include the number of successful installed customers in production willing to speak about their experiences (both positive and negative); the details of the technology itself (whether the database is open source and how it is customized, whether the server, disk, and networks are a commodity components and how they can be customized; the breadth and maturity of complementary tools such as inquiry and reporting, ETL, data quality solution); and the price of acquisition and cost of operation. Published results from public benchmarks (such as tpc.org) are also useful for starting a conversation about performance and price, though don’t rely exclusively on the benchmark “winner” since results are frequently updated.

Data Mining Moves to HR

For most of its eight-year history, Cataphora has focused on digital sleuthing. The company hunts for statistical signs of fraud. But in the past few years, Cataphora has been dispatching its data miners into a new market: statistical studies of employee performance.

The trend, though early, is unmistakable, and it extends far beyond Redwood City. Number crunching, a staple for decades in the quantifiable domains of engineering and finance, has spread in recent years into marketing and sales. Companies can now model and optimize operations, and can calculate the return on investment on everything from corporate jets to Super Bowl ads. These successes have led to the next math project: the worker. “You have to bring the same rigor you bring to operations and finance to the analysis of people,” says Rupert Bader, director of workforce planning at Microsoft (MSFT).

Such a mission might have been laughable a decade ago. But as the role of computers in the workplace expands, employees leave digital trails detailing their behavior, their schedule, their interests, and expertise. For executives to calculate the return on investment of each worker, their human resources departments are starting to open their doors to the quants.

From Business Week, an insightful article on how value of each employee is determined by HR using Data Mining/Analytics.

The Elusive Virtual Data Warehouse

Bill Inmon writes on the virtual data warehouse. Interesting Read.

Why then is the virtual data warehouse such a supremely bad idea? There are actually lots of reasons for the vacuity of virtue manifested by the virtual data warehouse. Some of those reasons are:

A query that has to access a lot of databases simultaneously uses a lot of system resources. In the best of circumstances, query performance is a real problem.

A query that has to access a lot of databases simultaneously requires resources every time it is executed. If the query is run many times at all, the system overhead is very steep.

A query that has to access a lot of databases simultaneously is stopped dead in its tracks when it runs across a database that is down or otherwise unavailable.

A query that has to access a lot of databases simultaneously shuffles a lot of data around the system that otherwise would not need to be moved. The impact on the network can become very burdensome.

A query that has to access a lot of databases simultaneously is limited to the data found in the databases. If there is only a limited amount of historical data in the databases, the query is limited to whatever historical data is found there. For a variety of reasons, many application databases do not have much historical data to begin with.

Companies Turn to BI Platform Consolidation

The challenging economic climate has caused many organizations to take a closer look at their IT strategies in an effort to reduce costs while still maintaining quality. One particular emerging area that is being reevaluated because of its significant licensing, maintenance and specialized support cost is that of business intelligence platforms.

The release of Microsoft SQL Server 2008, with enhanced business intelligence features, has provided Innovative Architects, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner located in Duluth, GA, with several clients ready to migrate from various competing platforms solely to SQL Server. Innovative Architects has developed proprietary conversion accelerators that provide software automation for converting from other competing point products to the Microsoft BI platform. Innovative Architects’s BI conversion accelerators can reduce the time and cost of replatforming by as much as 50%.

“Our clients rarely use the sophisticated modeling features that they are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for and, ultimately, ‘export to Excel’ to actually perform much of their data analysis. When we demonstrate the full capabilities for information insight that the combination of SQL Server 2008 and Excel 2007 can provide, our clients have been amazed,” said Tony Baldwin, Director of Enterprise Solutions at Innovative Architects.

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