Those of you who have been follow me for a while will know that my blogging can sometimes be as much travelogue as it is about data and analytics. (“Holding the Law In Our Hearts”, “Winning With Big Data” and “Context is Crucial, but People are Paramount” are all such examples.) This week has seen me back on my travels, this time to Munich for Gartner’s European Business Intelligence Summit (and my first official event as a fully-fledged Gartnerist.)
Ahead of the conference, I had the chance to meet up with a few of my Gartner colleagues (including Ian Bertram, Tom Austin, Joe Bugajski, Frank Buytendijk, Mark Beyer and Thomas Oestreich) as we headed out of the city and drive to the village of Hohenschwangau in the Alpine foothills, where sit the fairy-tale castles of Schloss Hohenschwangau (“High Swan County Palace”) and Schloss Neuschwanstein (“New Swan Stone”), best-known for being the inspiration behind Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Either of these edifices would serve as a perfect setting for a fairy story (take your pick as to whether you prefer dark morality tales like those by the Brothers Grimm, the hopeful and whistful fables of Hans Christian Andersen, or re-worked, high-gloss musical froth from Disney).
There is no doubting the beauty of there glorious royal follies. Both castle-come-palaces are works of art, both outside and in, and the majesty of the German Alps serves as a perfect backdrop. However, in considering these two magnificent works, the creations of King Maximillian II of Baviaria and his son Ludwig II respectively, it struck me that I was looking at an architectural analogy to what we do in business analytics.
The castles are beautiful, accessible, represent a hundred different and interlinked stories that connect with the Bavarian psyche, and are what draw in the paying public. The village of Hohenschwangau has plenty of restaurants, bars and entertainment too, so overal it’s a fun place to be. That’s exactly what want your analytic output to be like – beautiful, accessible, connectable and fun.
But pretty, engaging and user-friendly doesn’t add up to much if the castles were likely to fall down at any moment – notwithstanding the potential waste of investment, you’ve also got a significant safety and security problem to deal with. So strong foundations, robust underpinning ground and high quality construction are a must. The two castles in Hohenschwangau are built respectively on the former sites of twin medieval strongholds, which were constructed for defence, not enjoyment. And the whole site is built into the side of an Alp. So all-in-all plenty of strength and solidity there. The workmanship is exquisite, yet the process was lengthy and involved huge amounts of work – for two decades, the construction of Neuschwanstein castle was the major employer of the region.
So it is with Analytics; we need a strong foundation of good data upon which to build, and there is likely a lot of hard work involved before we can have any form of outcome, let alone anything robust and resilient. (Cue discussions about the trade-offs between time-to-value/responsiveness and integrity/maintainability).
Finally, let’s consider the roles of the kings, Maximillian and Ludwig. Both had a strong vision of what they wanted to achieve and were aspirational in their desires to see their castles come to fruition. Both were committed to seeing their respective projects through to completion. As king, of course both had the power and authority to enact their plans. Ludwig in particular was visionary in his aspirations for his fairy-tale castle masterpiece as well as in his care for the welfare of his subjects, setting up insurance and welfare services for the construction workers. Realising this vision came at a huge cost however, both financial and personal, and Ludwig was ultimately declared insane and deposed by government commission, before then dying in mysterious circumstances.
Do you have a strong sponsor for your analytics project? Is the sposor truly committed, both in terms of financial investment and emotional involvement? Or should they be committed?! Is their vision shared by those around them, or are their plans viewed with “it’ll never work” cynicism by others? Just because everyone else thinks you’re crazy doesn’t mean it’s really so.
Analytics. The fairy tale can be made reality. Just don’t let the process drive you mad. See you at the BI Summit…
Stay tuned for some cool posts about working at Gartner.
Hopefully, that title got your attention. A recursive acronym – the term first appeared in the book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid and is likely more familiar to tech folks who know Gnu – is self-referential (as in “Gnu’s not Unix.”) So how did I conclude Hadoop, whose name origin we know, fits the definition? Easy – like everyone else, I’m redefining Hadoop to suit my own purposes.
Let’s start with the obvious one. Of course, Doug Cutting named Hadoop after his child’s toy elephant, seen here.
Photo: Merv Adrian
And in its early days, as I discussed in my post about the changing composition of distributions a few months back, the story was simpler. Hadoop was HDFS, MapReduce and some utilities. As those utilities got formalized and became projects themselves and were supported by commercial distributors, the list grew: Pig, Hive, HBase, and Zookeeper were Hadoop too. And a few months ago, as I noticed, Accumulo, Avro, Cascading, Flume, Mahout, Oozie, Spark, Sqoop, and YARN had joined the list.
YARN is the one that really matters here because it doesn’t just mean the list of components will change, but because in its wake the list of components will change Hadoop’s meaning. YARN enables Hadoop to be more than a brute force, batch blunt instrument for analytics and ETL jobs. It can be an interactive analytic tool, an event processor, a transactional system, a governed, secure system for complex, mixed workloads. At Strata this week, we’ll talk about its integration with Red Hat’s middleware, its cautious alliance with Spark for MapReduce replacement, its alliance with data wrangling tools from startups and Teradata, its connection, via Sentry, to security stacks… and more.
So yes, many of us are redefining Hadoop as we add new pieces – new use cases, new projects that change its very nature. My answer to “What is Hadoop”?
OK – it’s a bit cute. But hopefully, it got your attention. Hadoop’s journey is just beginning, and there is much more change ahead.
Note: Gartner does not normally post detailed solutions via its publicly available blogs. After all, we are in business to provide solutions to our clients. However, issues of public safety deserve broad distribution in the public interest. Therefore, occasional exceptions are made to our normal blog policy. This post is one of those exceptions. Further information may be posted later on this topic.
It is time to dust off your pandemic preparedness and response plan in order to prepare your organization for the impact on business operations due to an outbreak of the Ebola virus. Acknowledging that this is a very scary illness, your job is not to incite more fear than already exists. Your job is to develop a sound and thoughtful preparedness and response plan to such an outbreak so that the workforce and customers have confidence that you are in control of the workplace impact and that you can continue business operations. Gartner provides the following best practices to all organizations to help them take appropriate actions.
In addition, medical experts are emphasizing the need for a flu vaccine this year. Flu symptoms are very similar to the early Ebola virus symptoms, so ensuring you are protected from the flu means that 1) the worker knows that their symptoms are likely not flu-related and therefore obtain immediate medical action, and 2) emergency rooms are not overwhelmed with visits due to more easily preventable illnesses.
by Roberta Witty, Carl Claunch, John Morency, Werner Zurcher
Several discussions I have recently had indicate that people continue to have challenges with getting their enterprise data quality towards a more mature state.
I am seeing organizations continue to struggle with securing resources to improve the quality of their critical data. Often this is because they are unable to effectively communicate what it is that is actually broken, to the people who should care and are able to help them. First and foremost, the far too general concept of ?good data quality? must be translated towards what is appropriate data quality. In other words, data quality that is ?fit for purpose for business operations?. Since business operations use measures to assess just how well (or poorly) they are doing, this means tying such measures (e.g. KPI?s) to the data created and consumed by business operations. So now we are getting closer to why and which data quality rules (in the world of possibilities) are the appropriate ones that then tell us what ?fit for purpose? actually means ? using metrics.
A metrics-based approach to assessing data quality helps remove the assumptions, politics and emotion often associated with information, giving organizations something more factual on which to justify, focus and monitor their efforts. With this solid foundation of facts and focus, rather than unsubstantiated assumptions, misconceptions and apathy, we might actually begin to better manage the quality of our data. If you haven?t yet established which data is critical to your enterprise, then you absolutely should. And once you are clear on that, assess what ?fit for purpose? means for each of your data elements against certain more objective characteristics. such as:
There are actually quite a lot more data quality dimensions that you could use and the above are just in short-hand, but here?s the thing: choose the ones that make sense, are practical and that move you forward. You can get cleverer as you move forward. What I may do next week, is to follow-up on these dimensions with the more subjective ones and explain how these relate to trust.
If this has sparked an interest in data quality topics (this or others), do let me know. I am in fact endlessly fascinated about this subject and information in general, which inevitably leads to geek-off competitions with my lovely colleagues in Gartner.
I was dismayed after reading two articles. One in yesterday?s US print edition of the Financial Times, the other from today’s Wall Street Journal.
Bank of Canada turns sceptical on forward guidance
The Bank of Canada was an early adopter and pioneer of “forward guidance”. This practice has become popular with central banks around the world. The last head of the Canadian central bank took the same job recently with the Bank of England. Forward guidance is the practice of sharing with the market and public at large the expectations of the future by the central bank. Such guidance typically focuses on the future timing and scale of changes interest rates. The idea is that by exposing such “forward guidance”, the market would be less exposed to sudden shocks. In the past a central bank might have changed interest rates with little warning. Markets tend to over react to shocks.
An article in yesterday?s Financial Times, called ?Bank of Canada turns sceptical on forward guidance“, reported that the current head of the central bank thinks such practices are best saved for times of crisis. The article goes on to suggest that Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada, argues that there is too much uncertainty to make the effort worthwhile. Excuse me? That is exactly why forward guidance should be used! In times of certainty we don’t need such help. Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up. Most central banks have elaborate; if outdated and very manual, data gathering processes and data analysis teams crunching numbers all the time. If these guys can’t get their act together, who can? It is because of the very same uncertainty Mr. Poloz refers that we need his best guesses. Maybe we need more forward guidance on his own confidence in his own data. That might help us all hedge?.
Jack Lew, Investment Killer
In an article in today?s US print edition of the Wall Street Journal, an Option piece (Jack Lew, Investment Kill) shows just how messed up the current US administration is with what drives growth in our economy. The tax rule changes invigorated by the Treasury Secretary will actually slow investment in US by reducing the motivation of rational firms to repatriate their profits from overseas enterprise. I think the situation is actually laughable. I really can?t fathom why we put up with this madness. The US, as the Opinion piece mentions, is one of the few developed nations that double taxes profits from overseas operations. That should be stopped, not enhanced. Our leaders, our policy makers, are completely out of touch with how rational firms operate, and how organizations compete. They think they can do better. Oh, hang on, we have heard that line before?
Five things I learned about Digital Business from the World Cup:
Time is relative and shift-able
Viewing time: one of the odd things is that with the technology of digital recording and/or digital streaming its easy to get out of sync with real-time peer event watchers. It took me a while to realize that I was 30 secs to 1 minute behind real-time, while discussing the results with others in chat. It is now more than easy to do that, which will increase the opportunity for miscommunication (is the hotline between Moscow and Washington still analog?)
Comment time: Even if you are posting ?real-time? comments on Facebook, its easy for readers to miss the post time, and view comments based on when they pop (which ? as we have found out through Facebook experiments, is easily manipulated). Reconstructing the time sequence of comments can be a chore, depending on how they were delivered. Which brings up an old saw I would often use: ?just because you sent the message doesn?t mean it was actually received?.
Nationality is a flux concept
As a dual nationality individual, the nation state concept starts looking very antiquated. My American born children will be eligible for up to 4 nationalities ? assuming there are no limits. Comes in handy in the world cup, though. I root for two teams ? unfortunately they have BOTH been knocked out. And when they play each other? It?s a tough choice ? and varies goal by goal. OK, I am an opportunist ? and just looking to celebrate whoever wins.
Digital Borders are permeable
In the US we were limited to two viewing options E$PN (cable subscription) or Spanish language Univision. I can get by on the Spanish, but there are lots of options to VPN over to a third party country and watch their local TV (in my case Hola). It was a great viewing experience, and easily (Apple TV, Chromecast) viewable on my 55? screen. Take that, internet censors and intellectual property nazis!
Infrastructure is THE growth sport
Three years ago in my visit to Sao Paulo and other parts of Brazil, the concern was whether their infrastructure, especially their digital infrastructure, will be ready. It was. But not without serious investment. Watching and communicating with parts of the country that a few years ago were only accessible by boat or plane? Now that?s amazing. And what a small world it has become?.
Sport is a Digital Business
Concepts around the interconnection of People and Things – and by extension to processes, locations, and presence – affect sports, too. This will probably be one of the last major global sporting events where Internet of Things like capability doesn’t become center stage, for lots of reasons. Like what Adidas has introduced with the miCoach Elite Team System:
To learn more about these topics ? and hear The VP of Innovation at Adidas, Qaizar Hassonjee, talk about what they did — come to the Gartner Catalyst conference in August.
If you?re bombarded as much as most marketers are with pushed content, then you?re probably skeptical of one more claim for the ?next big thing?. Every marketing technology and service provider, every specialized association and publication, and every ?independent? pundit has at one time or another proclaimed the ?next big thing? you need to pay attention to ? and of course invest in. Even when they present proof points, I take the claims with a grain (sometimes a heaping teaspoon) of salt.
So hearing that the next new big thing all marketers need to prioritize in their 2015 budgets is end-to-end customer experience, I thought ?yup, just another set of projects in a marketer?s already bulging at the seams budget.” Even though it was a respected Gartner colleague who said it, and even though logically it made sense, I wasn?t about to jump on the bandwagon without proof.
Digging for Data
I?ve admitted before to being a data junkie. Always have been, always will be. So I went looking for evidence in primary research surveys, in interviews with C-level execs, in publications and blogs, in software and service spending forecasts, you name it. And I found lots of it ? in fact a lot more than I expected to find.
One big problem is that the term ?customer experience? means different things to different people ? people in the same function and in adjacent functions. But let?s not go down that rat hole ? I picked a commonly used definition and said ?good enough?.
Next came the analysis to evaluate what was most credible ? who said it, how many people said it, what kind of people, in what kind of companies, when did they say it, how did they phrase it ?. you get the idea. I focused on what large and very large companies in sufficient numbers said as the basis, supplemented with name-brand company executives? comments. I wound up with over four dozen strong proof points.
10 Proof Points
To cut to the chase, here is a subset of the proof points – a list of 10 findings from primary research surveys – that convinced me customer experience is indeed the ?next big thing? that requires investment in people, process and technology for the foreseeable future. The list is in alphabetical order by the firm who conducted the research. Note that some research requires registration. Gartner research requires subscription.
1. Accenture – 2013 Global Consumer Pulse Survey (n=13,168 consumers)
?85 percent of customers are frustrated by dealing with a company that does not make it easy to do business with them, 84 percent by companies promising one thing, but delivering another; and 58 percent are frustrated with inconsistent experiences from channel to channel.?
2. CMO Council, in partnership with SAP ? 2014 ? Mastering Adaptive Customer Engagements (n=319)
?Marketers believe that customer centricity?and the customer?s belief that they are engaged with a customer-centric organization?is critical not just to the business, but also to the individual marketer?s success.?
?39 percent of respondents agree that the very definition of customer centricity is being established at the very top of the organization with the president/CEO?
3. Gartner ? 2014 – Gartner Survey Finds Importance of Customer Experience on the Rise ? Marketing Is on the Hook (n=200 responsible for customer experience, revenue > $500M)
?89% of companies surveyed plan to compete primarily on the basis of the customer experience by 2016 ?
?65% of companies have the equivalent of a chief customer officer ? they report equally to the CMO and CEO?
4. Gartner ? 2014 – The 2014 Gartner CEO and Senior Executive Survey: ‘Risk-On’ Attitudes Will Accelerate Digital Business (n=410)
?The most important technology-enabled capability investment to support growth over the next five years is digital marketing, followed by customer experience.?
5. Gartner ? 2014 ? Gartner’s 2015 Marketing Spending Survey ? Customer Experience Leads Investments (n=315 responsible for marketing budgets, revenue > $500M) [to be published October 2014]
?The top marketing technology investment for 2014 was customer experience?
?18% of the total marketing expense budget was spent on customer experience in 2014?
?#1 innovation project for 2015 is customer experience?
6. Gartner and The CMO Club ? 2014 ? CMO Leadership, Accountability & Credibility within the C-Suite (n=105) [to be published October 2014]
?CMOs say leading the customer experience cross-functionally at all touch points is the top investment over the next 2 years?
7. IBM – 2013 ? The Customer-activated Enterprise (part of the Global C-suite Study) (n=4,183 CXOs)
?As the digital infuses the physical, and vice versa, organizations are transforming the customer experience. Nearly seven in ten CxOs recognize the new imperative ??
? 39% of outperformers have developed a fully integrated digital-physical customer strategy?
8. IBM – 2013 – Stepping up to the challenge: CMO insights from the Global C-suite Study (n=524 CMOs)
When asked to what degree they?ve implemented ?Integrated customer touchpoints across physical and digital channels?, 16% said ?large extent?, 38% said ?somewhat?, 46% said ?limited extent?
9. McKinsey ? 2014 ? The digital tipping point (n=850 CXOs)
?Of the six digital trends we asked about, executives expect the largest share of their digital growth in the coming years will be from digital customer engagement,??
?Respondents most often rank digital customer engagement as a top strategic priority, too, and report that current spending patterns mirror digital priorities?
10. Oracle ? 2013 – Global Insights on Succeeding in the Customer Experience Era (n=1300)
?93% say that improving CX [customer experience] is one of the top three priorities for the next two years; 97% state CX is critical to success?
Gartner clients can see more of the proof points on the Gartner for Marketing Leaders website. Free marketing research is available at http://www.gartner.com/marketing/digital/
I am intrigued when I see a company in a traditional industry, acquire some kind of digital or information technology business. It’s a very modern M&A sub-trend I’ll call “techquisitioning”. We did not see much of it during the original dot com and e-business boom of the early 2000’s. However, there are many more interesting entities out there to be considered today – some quite mature and ready to pick. Here are some recent examples:
I think some of the smartest traditional industry business leaders have rather suddenly woken up to the digital threats on the horizon in the post-recession new normal. Companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Alibaba have used digital era technology to amass a great deal of market power which they can use to either enter or pressure multiple industries. After a decade of relative under-investment in technology, catching up or leapfrogging isn’t easy for the traditional incumbents. Organic capability development is slow. So sometimes, jump-starting your future by acquiring a technology, online property, platform or talent team might make sense.
Let’s imagine for a moment that this is a good idea and it works (we cannot know yet, it’s too soon to tell). The early movers have started- what are you going to do? Do you have the management team competency to find and evaluate potential targets? If so, do you have the funds and the investor tolerance to make your own fast follower moves? Finally – could you integrate such delicate and culturally disparate entities without crushing them? These are questions I think many boards of directors will be debating with their CEOs over the next couple of years. CIOs should be ready to help the leadership team develop answers.
Having been heads-down in a number of projects for a long while, finally surfacing for air, I wanted to share with you some of what has transpired recently. This past week I was at Gartner Symposium in Orlando presenting on peer-to-peer digital currencies and meta-coin platforms.
One of the benefits of being at Gartner is getting the chance to do what are called “Maverick” projects. These are projects that seek a perspective that is unconventional, contrarian or new. Often an outsider’s view is needed when looking at well-established categories such as security, application development, supply chain, or data management. In the case of a new field such as metacoin platforms, almost all perspectives are new, by definition.
When I started digging into this 12 months ago, the topic of digital currency was completely new to me (and perhaps to many of you as well). Over the past few months, I’ve come up with some observations that I presented at Symposium and will covering in more detail in upcoming research notes.
Here are the highlights:
In looking at the post-Bitcoin era, I introduced the following concepts and terms:
These are exciting times. There is a wave of innovation going, with some very talented people chasing down some powerful ideas and new platform designs. I plan on sharing some of my observations on this wave in coming weeks and months. Stay tuned!
Bienvenidos a ENTER al día, estas son las noticias del día más importantes en el mundo de la tecnología y la cultura digital.Continúa leyendo en ENTER.CODeja un comentario en ENTER al día: Resultados de Apple, Spotify familiar y Sofa para todos, 2014 ENTER.CO
Easy Taxi acaba de anunciar este 20 de octubre que les regalará un bono de $10.000 a todos sus usuarios en Bogotá para que se movilicen “sin estrés” en medio del paro de transportes que aqueja a la ciudad. Continúa leyendo en ENTER.CODeja un comentario en ¿Varado por el paro? Easy Taxi le regala $10.000 para […]
El gobierno chino no es el mejor amigo de las empresas estadounidenses de internet. Así lo ha demostrado en varias ocasiones en el pasado, y la llegada del iPhone 6 a esa nación volvió a levantar la polémica en ese terreno. Según Mashable, varios grupos dedicados a monitorear los movimientos de censura de China detectaron […]
Apple acabó de publicar los resultados financieros para el cuatro trimestre fiscal de 2014. La compañía obtuvo ventas de 42.120 millones de dólares que dejó una utilidad por acción de 1,42 dólares. Los analistas de Wall Street esperaban 39.850 millones dólares y 1,31 dólares, respectivamente. Con estos números, la multinacional estadounidense confirma que pasa por […]
Las acciones legales con respecto al escándalo de hace unas semanas, cuando se filtraron fotos de varias celebridades desnudas, no iban a hacerse esperar demasiado. Ahora, como reporta The Guardian, los links que conducen a las fotos hackeadas de Jennifer Lawrence han empezado a removerse de los resultados del buscador de Google luego de una […]
Una nueva serie web colombiana busca explorar un terreno al que muchos de nosotros estamos llegando: la crisis de los 30 cuando se es geek. Ese momento de la vida en el que se tiene que comenzar a ser adulto y no se quiere dejar de ser niño, en el que hay que combinar las […]
Los desarrolladores de Skype para Windows Phone han estado ocupados últimamente y eso se nota en las dos recientes actualizaciones que han llegado primero a la plataforma móvil de Microsoft. Hace algunas semanas, la aplicación se actualizó con la posibilidad de compartir la ubicación desde los equipos con Windows Phone. Ahora, a través de su […]
Luego de una primera selección de juegos para los más pequeños, llega el momento de volver a revisar la oferta de estos títulos en el mercado. Las franquicias de animación como ?Cars? o ?Ice Age?, junto a los shows de televisión como ?My Little Pony? o ?Adventure Time?, también quieren conquistar a las audiencias más […]
Hace unos días publicamos nuestros animés recomendados de la temporada de otoño 2014. Pasó un par de semanas, en las que se estrenaron los títulos y ustedes nos enviaban sus sugerencias. Así que ahora les presentamos los cinco animes elegidos por los lectores de ENTER.CO para esta temporada que podrán ver por Crunchyroll: ‘Terra Formars’ No […]
La transformación de IBM continúa. Hoy lunes se conoció que la compañía de tecnología venderá su unidad de semiconductores, que lleva generando pérdidas por varios periodos. Después de advertir que harían un gran anuncio en horas de la mañana, Bloomberg reporta que el negocio se hará con Globalfoundries, una compañía que ya hace chips para […]
Avenida 15 # 104-30 Of.305 Bogota, D.C., Colombia / PBX (571)467-3939/ 386-0994. Movil (57) 315 331-1740
Miami, FL., E.U. / Phone:(786)467-6722
Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.
Designed by ETRADE GROUP SAS.