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Trends and Outliers

TIBCO Spotfire's Business Intelligence Blog

Monthly Archives: March 2011

03/31
2011

Predict 2011 Red Sox Season and Win $300 in Fan Gear

Data Analytics Predict Red Sox Season 296x300 Predict 2011 Red Sox Season and Win $300 in Fan GearBoston.com is giving away $300 in Red Sox gear to the top predictor in their Red Sox Fan Predictions Contest. With all the external data (sports stats from news sources and the MBA) available and the scenarios mapped (in the contest entry form) for the Red Sox season, someone just might leverage Predictive Analytics to win. The entry deadline is tomorrow at 2 p.m.  EST, about two hours before the first game at Texas.

We’re seeing the application of analytics more and more in sports. For instance, just last week on Trends and Outliers blog, we covered how “mathletics” superstars have used predictive modeling to select players and to feed USA Today stats for the sports pages. Earlier this month, we showed how TIBCO Founder and CEO Vivek Ranadive used our analytics solution to coach his daughter’s basketball team to a championship season, even though he’s never played the game.

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03/29
2011

How “Dirty Data” Derails Your Company’s Data Analytics and ROI

Data Analytics and Dirty Data How Dirty Data Derails Your Companys Data Analytics and ROIHow much of what your company knows is useful? Which data is current? In a recent webinar about the dangers of “Dirty Data” Jay Hidalgo of The Annuitas Group says many companies simply don’t know. He estimated that 30 percent of companies have no strategy for “data hygiene” – removing duplicates or obsolete information. He said 34 percent of companies ask the front-end sales team to update customer and prospect files but even that can be flawed among multi-product or different “views” of the same company, client or transaction.

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03/28
2011

Deloitte’s Top Technology Trends for 2011: Data Visualization and Real Analytics

Data Visualization and Deloitte 300x175 Deloittes Top Technology Trends for 2011: Data Visualization and Real Analytics Last week, Deloitte released its annual technology trends report in which it discusses the top IT trends that will impact business over the next 18 months. The 2011 Tech Trends report puts trends into two categories this year, (Re)Emerging Enablers and Disruptive Deployments. In both categories, the #1 trend has to do with applying information and analytics to solve business problems.

The first category, (Re)Emerging Enablers, consists of trends that CIOs have probably spent time on in the past that deserve a fresh look in 2011. Topping the list of five enablers is Data Visualization. According to Deloitte, “organizations with solid information foundations can use visualization to leap-frog competitors.”

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03/25
2011

The ABCs of Data Visualization

Spotfire Data Visualization 300x173 The ABCs of Data VisualizationA:  What is it?

The business value of data visualization more than proves the old adage:  A picture really is worth a thousand words.

Data visualization” is (basically) displaying the result of data operations in a format that communicates primarily through shapes, colors, and/or representational images.  Data visualizations almost always have labels to identify/explain the non-verbal content.

Data visualization was a minor factor in most businesses up until a few years ago–but that has changed dramatically.  Here’s why:

  1. There’s a lot more data to deal with.
  2. More people in the business need to see and understand data.
  3. Data is being used in more complex ways.
  4. Visualizations are much easier to produce.

There are two main formats for data visualization:  displays and presentations.  Displays provide information “at-a-glance,” usually as a dashboard or scorecard.  Most displays focus on metrics of some kind (such as Key Performance Indicators) and show high-level overviews.  They range from simple indicators (such as red-yellow-green “stoplights”) to interactive landscapes that allow users to see rolled-up numbers quickly and then drill into the data.

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03/24
2011

Self-Service Business Intelligence is Catching On — And Paying Off

self service bi 300x224 Self Service Business Intelligence is Catching On    And Paying OffToday’s line managers need more information and need it faster in order to make complex decisions in real time. This puts intense pressure on IT departments to keep up with requests for reports. Even with standard reports, everybody wants something just a little different and it’s almost impossible for IT to respond in real time, even if they had an enormous staff – which they don’t. The slow economic times have forced companies to become leaner, especially with IT support staff.  Spreadsheets aren’t an option for mainstream users if they want to import, summarize and analyze large data sets. Even technically proficient users often wind up with inconsistent and inaccurate results from complex spreadsheets they create. With all of these things happening at the same time, it’s no wonder that self-service Business Intelligence is becoming the choice of both end users and IT departments. A recent article in Computerworld describes how self-service BI is really catching on  – and really paying off for some companies.

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03/23
2011

Data Mining and Predictive Analytics Contest Has a $3 Million Prize

Predictive Analytics Cash Contest 300x241 Data Mining and Predictive Analytics Contest Has a $3 Million PrizeIn a post earlier this year entitled, “Data Mining Improved Company’s Revenue By 187%,” we described how the knowledge that led to a 187% improvement in revenue was hiding inside data that Assurant Solutions collected, but did not use. A California managed care provider also believes there is hidden knowledge inside data that they have, but aren’t using. The Heritage Provider Network hopes to discover knowledge in patient healthcare data that can prevent hospital stays and reduce healthcare expenses. To find that knowledge, they’re turning to the public for help and offering a $3 Million prize to the team who can come up with the best and most accurate solution.

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03/21
2011

A New Kind Of Data Warehousing Will Emerge in 2011 According To Gartner

data warehousing 150x150 A New Kind Of Data Warehousing Will Emerge in 2011 According To GartnerAn article in eWeek.com summarizes the latest data warehousing report from Gartner entitled “The State of Data Warehousing in 2011.” In the report, Gartner predicts a turning point in the evolution of the data warehousing market this year.

The concept of the ideal data warehouse is changing. Data loading into data warehouses is fast becoming a continual process and warehouses must increasingly support new and extreme types of information asset formats. At the same time, the focus of business intelligence and data analytics is shifting, as organizations place business intelligence and data analytics tools into the hands of end users. In response, the focus of the data warehousing market is changing from one of storage and access to one of delivery and comprehension.

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03/18
2011

Making Real-Time Connections With Social BI

Social BI at SXSW1 Making Real Time Connections With Social BIYou didn’t have to be in Austin, Texas to join in the hubbub at the South by Southwest Music + Film Interactive.  Its focus on emerging technology has earned the festival a reputation as a breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies.  Webcast music shows, a constant stream of calls, blog posts, Tweets and check-ins mean people worldwide were sharing advice, ideas or conversing in real-time with the estimated 200,000 visitors. First-timers to the music, film and technology events were asking for hotel, restaurant and transportation advice. They were also posting photos and news as it unfolded.  Analytics and mapping software showed the ebb and flow of people, messages and the massive amounts of images, videos and announcements from companies large and small.

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Filed under: Social BI

03/17
2011

NCAA Bracketology and Other Sports Analytics Winners

Basketball Team2 150x150 NCAA Bracketology and Other Sports Analytics WinnersMy all-star pick in this year’s March Madness may never touch the hardwood.  He’s Wayne Winston. He is a math expert, analytics guru and modeling hero who wrote the book on math in sports. Really! “Mathletics” explores how fans, teams, gamblers and owners use math to predict results and prepare strategies.  Is a two-pointer or a long-range three a better play?  Go for a tie then win in overtime? Or, take the higher-risk three and win outright?  Winston looks for answers as a professor of operations & decision technologies at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, and as the former statistical guru for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks.

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03/16
2011

How Mobile BI Will Change Sales in the Next Decade

sm flat tilt iPad pic1 300x296 How Mobile BI Will Change Sales in the Next DecadeWant to know a secret? The business world is changing – sales, decisions and how buyers buy. According to a recent blog post from Jeffrey Gitomer, a well-known sales strategist and trainer, sales has undergone a dramatic change in the past five years. These changes are eerily close to what’s happening in how business decisions are made.

Additionally,  Boris Evelson (@bevelson), Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst,  recently wrote that the research firm has tracked continuously increasing levels of adoption and maturity for mobile business applications, except Business Intelligence apps. One of the main reasons this area has failed to take off is the technology to use the apps is just now maturing. That is no longer true with the introduction of tablets and BI platforms for tablets such as the iPad2.

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