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Trends and Outliers

TIBCO Spotfire's Business Intelligence Blog

Monthly Archives: May 2010

05/28
2010

A View of Our Vets, from the NCVAS

j0422243 150x150 A View of Our Vets, from the NCVASWith Memorial Day approaching, it’s a good time to visit the VA’s National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics.  The website is nothing fancy—but there are some valuable data insights about the men and women who have served our country, from the American Revolution to the current day.  Start your tour on the Special Reports page, and check out Women Veterans: Past, Present and Future. This 2007 analysis is concise and very readable, offering an historical overview as well as an informative demographic snapshot of women veterans today.  Most people don’t know (for example) that hundreds of women donned disguises to serve as soldiers in the Civil War.  And some would be surprised to learn that more than 70% of women veterans today have attended college—many utilizing G.I. education benefits.

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Filed under: Business Analytics

05/27
2010

Data Meets Real Life: Visualizing the Gulf of Mexico Spill

j0448085 150x150 Data Meets Real Life: Visualizing the Gulf of Mexico SpillNothing has produced more news—and news coverage–in the past few weeks than the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  But one aspect that hasn’t received much media attention is the sophisticated super-computing at work behind the scenes.  One dramatic example:  The National Science Foundation has made an emergency allocation of 1 million compute hours that will allow the Texas Advanced Computing Center supercomputer to analyze how spreading oil may affect the area’s coastlines.

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05/26
2010

Even in Government, It’s All About the Data.gov

j0384874 150x150 Even in Government, Its All About the Data.govWe saw with the primaries across the country earlier this week that the voting public is voting for change.  In a number of instances, the old-guard incumbent was bounced in favor of the shiny new prospect touting a different approach, touting a change.  These candidates likely won on their ability to talk about their beliefs, make promises, show how they are different, and to empathize with their constituents.  To put it in our terms, the reason they won is they had and were able to highlight the best data.

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Filed under: Business Analytics

05/25
2010

Banking on BI

j0414050 150x150 Banking on BILooking over the challenges that face the banking industry—from media scrutiny to customer alienation to increasing regulation—you might think this is not the best time for banks to focus on expanding their business intelligence capabilities.  But according to the Aberdeen Group’s brand-new report, you would be wrong.

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05/24
2010

Analytics Helping Science Fiction Become a Reality

j0443158 150x150 Analytics Helping Science Fiction Become a RealityI don’t know about you, but when I first watched the film “Minority Report” and saw targeted billboard advertisements adapt to Tom Cruise’s character as his retinas were scanned, it sent chills down my spine.  We all know we are being watched as we move about, both physically and online.  Smarter organization and capture of information, combined with advancing event correlation technology and analytics, are helping governments and businesses better respond and take positive, preventative actions.  

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Filed under: Business Analytics

05/20
2010

Seven Steps, Multiple Views of Analytics As A Process

j04431606 150x150 Seven Steps, Multiple Views of Analytics As A ProcessIf I told you there were 7 Steps To Making Better Decisions you’d say “It has to be more complicated.”  So don’t take my advice, listen to Gary Smith of the consulting firm Doyen who wrote down all seven for Information Week. He consults on project management and offers these tips on an analytics methodology.

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05/19
2010

Cell-sized Viz for Instant Analytics

j03879535 150x150 Cell sized Viz for Instant AnalyticsA few years ago, information visualization guru Edward Tufte introduced the “sparklines” concept.  For an overview, visit this excerpt from his book Beautiful Evidence.  But briefly:  sparklines are “data-intense, design-simple” graphics that can be put into the space of a word.

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05/18
2010

Business Intelligence, In-Memory, In 2 Seconds

j0400986 150x150 Business Intelligence, In Memory, In 2 SecondsAt our recent Tibco Business Intelligence conference, we talked a lot about the “two second advantage.”  What is the hook of the two second advantage?

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05/17
2010

Talking Home Energy Savings Analytics with Martin Flusberg

team martin flusberg2 Talking Home Energy Savings Analytics with Martin FlusbergMartin Flusberg is CEO of Powerhouse Dynamics, creator of EMonitor, a software and device combination that tracks and analyzes home electrical use down to an individual circuit or outlet.  It also delivers reports and comparisons that make it easy for consumers to reduce “phantom” electric used by stand-by devices, or to identify and manage their carbon footprint.  A version for small/medium-sized businesses will add a ROI calculator to let users manage energy use in an office or store.

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05/13
2010

Can Analytics Change Meetings?

j0442889 150x150 Can Analytics Change Meetings?A new report by CITO argues that analytics can change the way meetings are conducted.  That analytics can change “the vicious cycle of meetings.”  This cycle is defined as meetings were “questions are asked beforehand, data collected, reports generated, and in due course, slides and spreadsheets publicly presented.”  When an unanticipated question is asked, the response is often “we’ll get back to you.”  And that creates a need for another meeting.

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