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Trends and Outliers

TIBCO Spotfire's Business Intelligence Blog

Monthly Archives: December 2010

12/29
2010

Seven Great Resources for Data Analytics and BI Insight

help Seven Great Resources for Data Analytics and BI InsightAt first blush, subscribing to e-mail newsletters and RSS feeds seems like a good idea, but when are you going to read the content? You won’t, unless it’s valuable or a headline catches your eye. As a data analytics blogger for Spotfire’s Trends & Outliers blog, I have to wade through mucho material to get ideas and stay abreast of trends.

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12/27
2010

Data Visualization: Your Business is a Moving Picture

gold chart 350 300x222 Data Visualization: Your Business is a Moving PictureContext is a secret ingredient that separates facts from insights and provides clarity when you’re asking questions. Relevant facts and shifting conditions need to be accounted for when you run queries and dive into analytics challenges or data visualizations. A simple chart or diagram may be missing the rest of the picture. Business and economics offer plenty of examples, in part, because they have so many moving parts and different views of “reality”

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Filed under: Data Visualization

12/22
2010

Location Intelligence Can Solve Mysteries

mapinfologo Location Intelligence Can Solve MysteriesIf  data visualization is the key to grown up business intelligence, then location intelligence may be an adolescent path towards adulthood. Location data is inherently visual, and plotting data on a map can provide additional insight that isn’t obvious until you see it.

For example, in 1854, an outbreak of Cholera in London killed 127 people in just three days. A week later, it had killed 500 people. At that time, the common belief was that Cholera was caused by breathing “bad air,” but Dr. John Snow believed otherwise. Dr. Snow, now considered the father of Epidemiology, interviewed affected families in an attempt to find the source of the infection. Then he plotted the deaths on a map which revealed that they were centered around a water pump on Broad Street. With this map, he was able to convince authorities to remove the handle from the pump, which put an end to the outbreak.

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12/21
2010

How to Use Data Analytics In Your Personal Life

MC9004348593 How to Use Data Analytics In Your Personal LifeWe all know that data analytics can help us make better decisions at work. So what if we put the same principles to use at home? Why not use data to help us make decisions about how we lead our daily lives?

The New York Times Magazine calls it a “data driven life.” If you want to measure and analyze data about the way you live, there are innumerable devices, websites and software programs that can help you put some quantitative measurement into your daily diet. You can wear a small device called Fitbit to help determine if you’re getting the kind of quality sleep you need and to measure the calories you ingest and the physical movements you make. If you’re a runner, you can map your route, measure your heart rate and track your progress with a GPS device that even includes a “virtual running mate” to help you keep pace.

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Filed under: Data Analytics

12/20
2010

U.S. Census Could Be Your Biggest Analytics Goldmine

United States map1 150x150 U.S. Census Could Be Your Biggest Analytics Goldmine For people and companies that know how to sift data, Christmas is a few days early this year.  The U.S. Census Bureau data from 2010 is being released officially on Dec. 21. Several pieces have been offered up already and I can hear the data analytics and search queries whirring.  Oh sure, there’s no card and someone will make the inevitable comparisons to 2000 data. But anyone who has EVER been a kid knows that new, unwrapped statistics — just like toys — are fresher and more fascinating than anything that’s 10 years old.

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Filed under: Data Analytics

12/17
2010

Advanced Analytics: Recap of Forrester Twitter Chat and #FollowFriday

twitter follow friday21 Advanced Analytics: Recap of Forrester Twitter Chat and #FollowFridayIn our recent November Twitter wrap-up, we referenced James Kobielus’ TweetJam on advanced analytics, which occurred earlier this week. We thought we would do a #FollowFriday post on how this virtual event shook down.


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Filed under: Analytics and Twitter

12/16
2010

Real-Time Analytics Is A People-Centric Process

checkout 150x150 Real Time Analytics Is A People Centric ProcessReal-time analytics is about detecting and responding to events as they happen to gain competitive advantage. In real-time analytics, an event occurs that requires a decision: What action, if any, should be taken to respond to this event? Simply notifying someone that an event has occurred doesn’t qualify as analytics because it doesn’t provide any decision support — at best it provides “situational awareness”.

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12/15
2010

Data Analytics: The Potential Benefits of Real-Time Decisions

wallstreet3 300x243 Data Analytics: The Potential Benefits of Real Time DecisionsWe live in an “instant” world where we’ve gotten very good at being able to tell when an “event” occurs. For example:

  • News from a government agency could affect the price of a company’s stock.
  • The stock of a key product at a store is rapidly dwindling .
  • A valuable customer is shopping your website right now.
  • A competitor has just reduced the price of your best-selling item.
  • Purchases on a customer’s credit card seem to indicate fraudulent use.
  • There has been a surge of tweets about your company in the last 15 minutes.

However, knowing about an event has little value unless we act on that information. According to an article in Information Management magazine, companies are now focusing significant attention trying to improve their ability to react to real-time events using data analytics.

“Real-time analytics” offers speed, flexibility, and the potential to gain competitive advantage by responding to an event soon after it occurs. Just as the early bird gets the worm, acting quickly to respond to an event can help a company get a “leg up” on the competition.

For some organizations, real-time analytics has already demonstrated its value in the form of real profits and improved customer relationships. For example, real-time analytics is being used by brokers to make decisions about stock trades, – impacting profits – and by retailers to make decisions about marketing and customers – impacting sales and customer relationships.

Real-time analytics sounds straight forward. An event occurs, data relevant to the event is collected, the data is analyzed, and a decision is made whether or not to act in response to the event. But the entire process needs to happen quickly – in “real time” – which makes implementing real-time analytics more difficult than traditional BI decision support focused on longer-term strategic decisions.

In an upcoming post, we’ll discuss more about what real-time analytics is – and what it isn’t.  Remember to subscribe to our blog to stay informed on real-time analytics and other topics in data analytics.

Steve McDonnell
Spotfire Blogging Team

Image Credit: Getty Images

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12/13
2010

How Does Predictive Analytics Work?

psychic crystal ball 300x166 How Does Predictive Analytics Work?Understanding the basics of predictive analytics is as easy as saying your ABC’s:

A:  What is it?

As any fortune-teller will assure you, predicting the future is an art as well as a science.  And that truism applies as much to business decisions as to any other aspect of life.  So on the one hand we can say that predictive analytics is a branch of statistics in which information extrapolated from historical data is applied to the projection of future conditions.  That’s the science side.

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12/09
2010

Acting on Data Analytics – More than Food for Thought

MR900408948 Acting on Data Analytics   More than Food for ThoughtAligning the business and IT stakeholders in the use of data analytics applications in decision-making is a key business challenge we often discuss on the Trends and Outliers blog. According to web analyst Antoaneta Nikolaeva, there are four distinct factors for analytics success in an organization. In her white paper, “Acting on Analytics,” she discusses these factors (originally studied by Tom Davenport and Jeanette Harris in 2007 in Competing on Analytics: The Science of Winning).

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Filed under: Data Analytics