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Trends and Outliers

TIBCO Spotfire's Business Intelligence Blog

Monthly Archives: September 2011

09/30
2011

Top Data Analysts Must ‘Speak the Language of the Business’

data analysts must speak the language of business Top Data Analysts Must Speak the Language of the BusinessAnalytics professionals do best if they can succeed in three types of skills: technical, business thinking and “intangibles,” according to Kaiser Fung (@junkcharts), Vice President of Strategic Analytics at Sirius XM Radio, and the author of Numbers Rule Your World: The Hidden Influence of Probability and Statistics on Everything You Do.

Fung points out that business thinking – how to teach data analysts to talk to the business in language the business understands - is often the hardest to develop because colleges and grad schools (outside of business schools) just don’t teach it. For him, intangibles are the hardest to find, mainly because it’s impossible to gauge them in an interview.

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09/29
2011

Breaking Down Data Silos to Help Drive BI Collaboration

breaking down data silos collaboration 300x221 Breaking Down Data Silos to Help Drive BI CollaborationAccording to a recent Aberdeen Group report, 53% of companies are seeing spikes in the number of line-of-business leaders who require analytical capabilities. But as the Aberdeen report goes on to detail, a key challenge for many organizations is the ability to develop the context and expertise necessary to use timely information and transform it into meaningful business insight.

As Aberdeen Group analyst Michael Lock (@MLock_Insights) notes in the report, leading companies are tapping into the collective brainpower that not only exists within their own four walls but also throughout the “extended enterprise,” including customers, suppliers, and business partners who are able to contribute unique insights that can be used to help strengthen decision making.

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09/28
2011

The Power of Cloud-based BI and Analytics

TIBCO SILVER SPOTFIRE 2.0 300x168 The Power of Cloud based BI and AnalyticsThanks to the exponential growth in the use of unstructured data by companies, including social customer data, many decision-makers are wrestling with the most effective ways to analyze real-time data quickly and effectively.

These escalating data demands are just one of the reasons there’s growing market interest in cloud-based analytics. While Gartner forecasts the global business intelligence (BI) market to grow 9.7% this year to $10.8 billion, business analytics software-as-a-service (SaaS) is expected to grow three times faster than the total business analytics software market, according to Brian McDonough, research manager for IDC’s Business Analytics Solutions research service.

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09/27
2011

Ease-of-Use Key to Consumerization of BI

ease of use BI software1 300x225 Ease of Use Key to Consumerization of BIConventional BI, it seems, has a New Year’s resolution problem. As with eating better and working out more, everyone agrees that BI is a great idea, and resolves to put it to work. But the resolutions don’t last past January, or even past the first week.

According to Gartner Research, even when organizations have standard BI platforms of choice, only 28% of the potential users of these tools are actually employing them. Gartner identifies three main reasons for this non-use: they are hard to use, slow-running, or they don’t produce relevant results.

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09/26
2011

Big Data Analytics Versus Your Own Lying Eyes

Big Data Analytics v.s. eyeball test 213x300 Big Data Analytics Versus Your Own Lying EyesIf making it in Hollywood means you have arrived, then data analytics has arrived. Only a few months after social networking hit the big screen, analytics made its debut with Moneyball, belting out an opening weekend take of $20 million.

A subject as abstract and mathematical as analytics might not seem like the stuff of a major motion picture. But Moneyball is also a baseball movie, and therein lies a tale, because baseball and statistics go together ball in glove.

A Game of Stats

As noted by Grant Brisbee at Baseball Nation, baseball statistics have been around for a long, long time. Generations of kids have learned how to compute batting averages and earned run averages. Depending on how you rank some shortlived 19th century leagues, the majors have played about 200,000 games, with nearly 14 million official at-bats. These have yielded some 3.5 million hits, more than a quarter-million home runs – and exactly 20 perfect games.

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09/23
2011

Moneyball & the Analytics of a Red Sox Playoff Panic

Analytics of a Red Sox Playoff Panic Moneyball & the Analytics of a Red Sox Playoff PanicToday is the debut of the movie all baseball data analytics fans have been waiting for – Moneyball. We’ve pulled together some interesting data on the movie and we have some analysis on the likelihood of the Red Sox making it to the playoffs next month.

We’re centering on the Red Sox because the team was the focus of an analytics contest back in March. See our coverage of how predictive analytics helped John Tobin of Portsmouth, Rhode Island beat out over 3,000 entrants to win $300 in Boston.com’s Fan Prediction Contest. Congrats to John!

Now, let’s look at how Moneyball applies to data analytics. The movie centers on the true story of Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt), the general manager of the Oakland Athletics who leveraged analysis and a sabermetric approach to scouting baseball players.

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09/22
2011

The Key to Analytics Success: Savvy Analysts, Quality Data and Effective Tools

Competing on Data or Analytics 300x117 The Key to Analytics Success: Savvy Analysts, Quality Data and Effective Tools A recent Harvard Business Review blog suggests that successful analytics efforts are largely based on the quality and the uniqueness of the data that’s used and less dependent upon the people and programs that are used to make sense of the information. While the quality of the data that’s used is absolutely essential to achieving successful outcomes, what ultimately delivers superior results is a careful blending of the right data, tools, and people skills.

As data management continues to move closer to real-time execution, data quality issues remain top of mind for many practitioners. The ability for analysts to be able to make sense of this information quickly and make it applicable in business terms for key decision-makers is critical to helping business leaders act on relevant information quickly. In turn, these capabilities can help an organization to obtain a competitive edge, whether this involves identifying an emerging market opportunity ahead of industry rivals or discovering and reacting to the root causes of customer churn in a particular region.

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09/21
2011

Healthcare BI Helps Physicians Improve Patient Care

Healthcare BI 216x300 Healthcare BI Helps Physicians Improve Patient CareYesterday’s post discussed how the integration of business intelligence and healthcare-related smartphone apps is helping physicians save lives. Healthcare BI can also help providers when it comes to determining the ideal size of a patient panel – establishing which patients are assigned to which doctors in a practice, according to this article.

Healthcare provider organizations, whose physicians draw salaries want larger panels to ensure they get the most bang for the dollars they pay their physicians. In that scenario, doctors would opt for a smaller panel. However, a physician who owns a practices wants a larger panel in order to bring in more money.

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Filed under: Healthcare BI

09/20
2011

Diagnosing Disease Using Smartphone Apps and Data Visualization

diagnosing disease with smartphone app 233x300 Diagnosing Disease Using Smartphone Apps and Data VisualizationWhile many companies are using mobile analytics to measure their mobile advertising and marketing campaigns, scientists are developing healthcare-related smartphone apps that could actually save lives. The new apps are designed to help doctors by integrating with medical devices, enabling the smartphone to become the tool for data handling, analytics, visualization and communication.

For example, scientists at the Center for Systems Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital have integrating a microNMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) device that accurately detects cancer cells with a smartphone, according to the article.

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09/19
2011

The Data Analytics of “Going for It” on Fourth Down

the data analytics of going for it on fourth down1 The Data Analytics of “Going for It” on Fourth Down  It was early in the game, but the San Diego Chargers sensed they needed go for it on fourth and goal in order to keep pace with the Patriots’ explosive offense. That was the situation during the first quarter of yesterday’s NFL game in New England. The Chargers failed to score on the play and eventually lost the game. Today, I imagine many Monday morning quarterbacks are second guessing the decision to go for it so early in the game.  However, I know one person who isn’t.  This guy believes it’s statistically more rational to always go for it on fourth down regardless of the situation. His name is Kevin Kelley, head coach of the Little Rock, Arkansas Pulaski Bruins believes.

He believes so much in this stat that his team has only punted the football one time since 2007 and that was to show a gesture of sportsmanship to a team they were pounding, says a Sports Illustrated article.

Data analytics have always been part of football. And coaches, fans, analysts and Vegas use this science to make predictions on who will win, the points spread and for almost every other facet of the game.

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