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Trends and Outliers

TIBCO Spotfire's Business Intelligence Blog

Monthly Archives: October 2013

10/31
2013

The Data Analytics of Halloween – 2013 Edition

It’s time for our favorite post of the year – the data analytics of Halloween. On tap for today’s festivities, we’re bringing you the all the spooky things you need to know before you head out to your zombie soirees and treat-finding festivities.

shutterstock 83357938 300x300 The Data Analytics of Halloween – 2013 EditionFirst up, here’s an executive summary of our spending on Halloween 2013:

  • 158 million people will celebrate this year
  • Budgets are a bit tighter this year – the average amount Americans will spend on decorations, costumes and candy for Halloween is down to $75.03 from $79.82 a year ago
  • Spending is estimated to reach $6.9 billion this year
  • Adults spend more than kids on their costumes – $1.22 billion to $1.04 billion
  • 13.8% of pets get Halloween outfits (usually a pumpkin, hot dog or devil/cat)

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10/30
2013

When It Comes to Data Analytics, It’s the User, Stupid

While many companies are scrambling to hire data scientists or others formally trained in analytics with an eye toward effectively exploiting the potential of big data, they might be more effective altering their culture to nourish the curiosity of the users they already have.

shutterstock 143354404 150x150 When It Comes to Data Analytics, It’s the User, StupidIn fact, when it comes to big data analytics, top performing companies have sound understandings of their user bases and boast analytical mindsets, according to new research from Aberdeen Group.

“Top companies clarify, articulate and deliver on user needs for analytics, while others are often content to throw technology at their users and hope it sticks,” according to the report.

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10/29
2013

Big Data, Analytics Help Wireless Carriers Boost Revenue

Customer churn has and continues to be a big problem for wireless carriers. The problem is so severe that more than one-third (36%) of U.S. customers are considering leaving their mobile carriers over the next 12 months.

shutterstock 146072924 300x300 Big Data, Analytics Help Wireless Carriers Boost RevenueMoreover, only 13% of wireless customers demonstrate a level of loyalty required to retain them from competitive offers and service disruptions, according to a study by WDS, A Xerox Company.

Despite these challenges, the use of big data and analytics represents a tremendous opportunity for wireless carriers to identify customers who are at risk of defecting as well as opportunities to provide customers with services and support that can strengthen loyalty.

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10/28
2013

Analytics: Liberating the ‘Liability-Averse Lawyer’

Recently, we’ve been running a series of posts highlighting the interests and needs of different types of analytics users in the enterprise.

shutterstock 141193303 150x150 Analytics: Liberating the Liability Averse LawyerIn this installment, we examine the analytical needs of Larry, a corporate attorney for a diversified energy services provider whose top goal is to protect the company from risk and liability.

In the past, we’ve examined the analytical needs of Paula, a shrewd purchasing manager for a large logistics provider, whose boss wants her to identify opportunities to save money and to find attractive alternatives in the market that offer good value and no hidden costs.

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10/24
2013

Big Data to Adapt to the ‘Always On’ Generation

Banks and other companies that are saddled with outdated legacy systems and siloed IT infrastructures often struggle to be agile and responsive in supporting today’s “always-on” customers, especially millennials, aka Generation Y.

images4 Big Data to Adapt to the Always On Generation For instance, millennials (the 105 million people in the US born between 1980 and 2005) have the highest social networking penetration of any generation as well as the highest Facebook and Twitter usage rates, according to eMarketer.

Meanwhile, 92.3% of millennials used mobile phones in 2012, 63.2% of whom used the mobile web and only slightly fewer used smartphones.

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10/23
2013

How to Switch Careers to Big Data Without a Statistics Degree

The meteoric rise of interest in big data and technology to exploit the reams of information flowing into companies has not been matched by the needed growth of those with the skills to gain actionable insight from data.

shutterstock 110381018 150x150 How to Switch Careers to Big Data Without a Statistics DegreeVarious research firms have forecast a looming shortage of data scientists and others with the skills needed to corral big data.

For example, 34% of CIOs cite a skills shortage in big data, according to a survey by recruitment firm Harvey Nash. That category wasn’t even on the radar in 2011 and only emerged in 2012.

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10/22
2013

4 Factors to Prove Big Data’s Business Value

Does big data really have business value? Sure, it does – if you’re using it right. And you have the right tools in place.

shutterstock 91374806 150x150 4 Factors to Prove Big Datas Business Value“Analytics can be an area of blind faith,” notes Nick Hardiman in a Tech Republic article. “Not getting clear business goals for the  data set can result in an attitude of “hope something good pops out.”

So, we’re going to tackle the subject of determining business value with big data in today’s post.

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10/21
2013

Big Data: On the Hunt for Bigfoot

While some scientists and researchers use big data to discover new energy sources or improve the lives of people around the world, others are turning to big data for, shall we say, rather unconventional reasons.

images1 Big Data: On the Hunt for BigfootLike trying to track down Sasquatch, aka Bigfoot.

Josh Stevens, a PhD candidate at Penn State University, has amassed 92 years worth of data on Bigfoot – including 3,313 sightings across North America – and compared that information to the population growth in those areas.

Stevens’ research interests include GIScience, a system aimed at capturing, storing, manipulating, analyzing, managing, and presenting all types of geographical data, as well as visualization related to human-computer interaction and big data.

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10/17
2013

Data Analysis to Identify Fraud, Other Suspicious Employee Behavior

A growing number of banks, retailers, and companies in other industries are making more extensive use of data analysis to help identify possible cases of internal fraud or other suspicious behavior by employees that can eat into profits and damage employer/employee trust.

shutterstock 95599528 201x300 Data Analysis to Identify Fraud, Other Suspicious Employee BehaviorFor example, in the aftermath of the mortgage crisis, Rolling Stone made public emails that were written by Standard & Poor’s analysts as they inflated the ratings of worthless collateralized debt obligations.

“Let’s hope we are all wealthy and retired by the time this house of card(s) falters,” writes one S&P executive.

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10/16
2013

Data Analytics: Helping Telcos Meet Lofty Customer Expectations

Nearly half of telecommunications companies are struggling to deliver intuitive and user-friendly interfaces for multiple touchpoints that customers use such as B2B online stores and mobile apps.

shutterstock 124689322 300x198 Data Analytics: Helping Telcos Meet Lofty Customer ExpectationsMeanwhile, another 40% of telco executives say their organizations find it difficult to provide customers with responsive and flexible customer service in order to respond quickly to customer inquiries, according to a 2013 e-commerce report from Intershop.

There are multiple factors that play into these challenges.

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